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The Lite Sir Alexander Cunningham's Ancient 
Geography of India is the standard treatise on the 
subject, and is an indispensable hand-book for those 
who nre interested in Indian antiquities. Though 
it is over fifty years that it was published, and so 
naturally some portions have become to some extent 
antiquated in the light of more recent knowledge, it 
has not yet been superseded, and still remains indis- 
pensable. Unfortunately it has long been out of 
print, and students of Ancient Indian History have 
thus been put to ureal difficulties. When therefore 
the Publishers, alter securing the very kind prnnis 
sion of Lt. Col A. ). C. Cunningham, R.E., son 
of the late Sii Alexander, to bring out a new edition 
of this work, invited me to undertake the work of 
revision. I accepted the olfei very gladly, though 
I knew lull well the great difficulty and responsibility 
of the task. 

TV text in the present edition is exactly the 
same 'u: in the original edition. But it hns not been 
found possible to keep the paging identical. For 
the convenience, however, of those who wish to 
localise any references to the original edition, the 
original paging has also been given within brackets, 
in the table of Contents and Notes. 

I have tried, in my Introduction and Notes, to 
supplement Cunningham's text by the most up-to* 



date information available to me which could be 
gleaned from the latest researches on the? subject. 
And 1 venture to hope that with the help of these 
supplementary notes, the student will be accurately 
posted in the subject. As the space at my disposal 
is very short, I have been compelled to use in these 
Notes a very concise style, almost reminiscent of 
the Sutra literature ( and 

to refrain irom pointing out mere slips of pen. 
exploded thrones if Chronology (c.g. Imperial 
Guptas flourishing in the fust or second ctnluiy 
A.D.). etc. which could be easily detected. 

As to the spelling of Classical words. I have 
followed M'CrindiC and Scholl ; and in the matter of 
Chinese names 1 have followed Watters. In the 
transliteration of Sanskrit and Pali words. I have to 
offer an apology. The use of proper diacritical 
marks to indicate cerebrals, palatals, etc. has had 
to be abandoned due to the exigencies of the Press; 
but I have tried to minimise this inconvenience by 
giving, within brackets, the words in Sanskrit letters, 
in my Introduction and Notes. 

I have tried to indicate as a rule mv sources by 
giving full references; and my thanks arc due to all 
those from whom such help has been obtained. But 
I think I ought specially to mention my indebtedness 
to Mr. Pargiter for the majority of my references to 
Epic and Puranfc literature. 

I feel I shall be failing in rny duty if I do not 
close this short preface on a more personal note. To 
the inspiration of two men I owe all the work that 



I have been able to do in the domain of Ancient 
Indian History — MahSmahopadhyaya hferaprnsad 
Sastri and the late Sir Ashutoah MukhopSdhyaya. 
MahSmahopadhyaya Sastri is my Guru in the field 
of Indology : and it was the patronage and encourage- 
ment of the late Sir Ashutosh which enabled me to 
carry on the research-work the results of which are 
embodied here. My most heart-felt thanks are due 
to them both. And I am only sorry that Sir 
Ashutosh has not lived to see the completion of 
this work. 

My own, and also the Publishers' thanks are 
due to Lt. Col. A. 1- C. Cunningham R.E., the 
worthy son of our author, for his kind permission to 
the Publishers to bring out an up-to-date and revised 
edition of this standard treatise of his illustrious 

S. N. M. 

The I Oth September. 1024, 












ihe. Geography <* Anueni 





(/) Clascal 

( Hecatrrus , Herodotus. 

Ktesias, Alexander'* Ihstonan*. 
\ tegaslhcncs, PrnfoHth&ncs. Sltdbo. 

Pliny, Pcriplns , Ptolemy) xxi 

|2> Early Christian (Cosmos, Indie op* 

JeusJrs.J **vii 

(3) Arabic ... ... ••• « viii 

(V) OiineM ... ... * xxi* 

3. A CltmCAl IMIUME Ol InMCTSOI > V/AXCE5 xxxiv 

I U IfcR ARY SOUIc LS xxxiv 



|H7i#/ /be Pun/<if> MV* excluded /rem 
fbe "lusnJ of the Aryan*' of the 

Van a Samhitd 

ftuddhist Literature 

PSnini and hi fi commentators 

RSmdyamt and ihi Va hdbhdrflia 







Geographical ux>rk* in Santfail 
Wo*k* on Poetics 
l dtsyayana Sutra 

RSfOtaranginl and the CharHa-KdOyOM 
Ordinary Literary u'ork* 

K urrnat/ibhdga 
II TRAl)|IK>\\l 













Cenrml Description 









1 K.ipiarr.r, or Opiuli • 



Karsana. or Ti'trogonis. or ticyram 



Other cities of hopisenc 



2. Kophenc. cm Kabul 



1. ArAchoruit or Ghazni . 






5. NnRATaharn. or Jalalabad 



6 Gandhara. Or Parashiiwar 



PtnhhalAcati, or PcdJjc/<iOfi> 



I'arudlQ, or Patadheri ... 



Ulakhanda, or Embolim (Ohinri) ... 



.Sdlu/nru, or l.ahor ... ••• 



Aornos. or HSnigat 



ParaahaiVara. or Peshaivar 



7. Udyitna. or Swat 



iV B — Tlwc fig;urr»« w»ehm hmrJtcn give the 
on a mol rdiiion. 

mirnU of iKe 





Dolor, or Haiti 




Palana, or Banu 




Opokien. or Afghanistan (Loi. or 









Kashmir (provmrrl ... 








Tnxiln. or TakshajulA ... 



Manikuala ... 




Sirghapura. or keta* ... 




Punacha, or Punach ... 




Kajapuri. or Rajaori ... 



Hill-states of rhe Panjab 






( hampa , or Chamha 






Man<Ij and Stri>hcj 



Nurpur, or Palhanitja 



Saladru ... ... 




Fua. oft Panjab 




Tnki. or Northern Panjab 



JobnUhnagar, or Bhira 



Riikcphala, or JaldJpur 



Ni^cca, or Mong 



(>u}arai ... . ... 



Sa^ala, or Sangala 



Ta/(i, or Asarur 



Ran-st. or Nara-Sinha 



Ambakapi. or Amakatis 



1 ohdicar, or Labor 



Kusdu'ar, or Kauir 



Chinapati . or Pati 




Shorkot. or Middle PanjAb 








/Ctil Karnalia 






<2 10) 

A tfixir 



Sat gar ha ... ... 






/IjW/uin. or Pakpotan 



> Mult&n, or Southern Punjab 












Kahror ... ... •• 


<24 1) 







1. S*NI»II ... ... 



1. Upper Sindh. 

A/nssana? and Sodicu, or Sogdi 



Musi^ani. A lor 



Poitiltunus t or 0\yt(anu3 



2 Uiddlr Sindh. 

Sindomana, or Schtoan 



Rrahtnana, or Rrahnianabad 



V 1 .owrr Sindh, or L.*r ... 



Paiula, or Airan^of 






Minnogar, Manhahart. or Thatha 



Ra/baril^c Emporium 



Dcbal Sindh , or DebaJ 



4. Knchh 



District* to the wett of the Indu t 



A mbit, or Arabitcr 



Oritar. or Horitce 



II. GlttJjARA 



III Vai.mhuma. or Bai.abhi 



1. Balabhi 





2. Surasliera ... 372 

i. Bharoch, or BarygazA ... ... 374 

CENTRAL INDIA ... ... 37s 

1. Sthaneawara ... ... 376 

f J choa. or Prilhuda^a ... ... 385 

A™* — — ... 366 

2. Bairftl ... ... ... 387 

3 Srughru. _ ... ... 395 

4. Madfiwftr ... ... 399 

Xltiyipuro, or llaridu'ar 402 

5. Brahma pur a . 407 

6. Coviftana. or Kashtpur 4lW 

7 AhicKKatra . . ... 412 

8. Piloatinna ... , 417 

0. Sank is* ... 423 

!f Mathura . 427 

t rindfcana 429 

1 1 Kanoj ... ' * .... .. 430 

12. Ayuto ... 438 

1 3. Hayamukha ... ... 443 

14 Prayaga ... ... ... 443 

15 kosambi ... ... 448 

16. kusapura ... ... ... 456 

17. Visakha. Sake la. 01 Ajiulhya ... 459 

18. Sravasti ... ... 467 

19. Kapil* ... ... 474 

R6magr&ma ... ... 462 

Rioer A ftonio ... 485 

Pippalavana ... ..491 

20 Kusinagara ... ... 493 

Khu^hundo, Kahaon ... 4% 

Pau)3 . or Padraona ... ... 497 

21. Varanasi, or Banaras ... ... 499 

22 Carijapatipura ... ... 502 




( 3 * 7 ) 
















23 . 

V oifiili 

P AGf.. 




... 512 




... 516 



Magadha ... 

... 518 


Rouddka Gayo 

... 521 



... 526 



... 528 


Rajaariho ... 

... 535 



... 536 


Indra-fla Guha 

... 539 



... 542 



Hiranya Parvat* 

... 545 



Champa • •• 

... 546 




... 548 



Pauruira Varddhana 





... 550 



... 555 




... 559 








... 561 




... 563 




... 565 



Vadari. or Eder 

... 565 



... 572 



K A maiu pa ... 

... 572 



Samatata ... ... 

... 574 




... 577 




... 578 



Odra, or Orissa 

.. 584 




... 587 



... 590 


1 . 


... 590 




... 595 




... 603 





4. Donakakotta 



5. Qioliya, or Jorya 



6. Dravida 



7. Malakut*. or Madura ... 



8. Konkana 



9. Maharashtra 







A. Approximate Chronology of Hwen 

Thsang’s Travel# 



B. Measures of Distance, Yojdna, Li. 




C. Correction of Error in Ptolemy’s 

Extern Longitudes 





APPENDIX 1 (Puinnic nine divisions of Greater 



APPENDIX II (Abbreviations used in the note*) 







PORTRAIT OK I HE AUTHOR ... ... FrontUplece. 

I. Map of India, showing the Political Divisions 

in a.D. 629—642 ... To lace original Title. 

II. Ancient Maps of I SOI A. according to the 

Greeks and Indians ... ... • 



To lacc page. 

Ill Map of KAPISFNE and KoPHENE. or Upper 

, Kabul Valley ... ... ... I<> 

IV. Map of G.XMXUR.X. or Lower Kabul Valley— 

Map showing the position of Taxila ... 54 

V. Campaign of Alexander in the PanjSb. 

B C. 327-326 ... ... ... 120 

VI. Travel* of Hwen Thaang in the Panjab. 

A. D 631-63/ ... ... ... 120 

VII. Alexander s Passage of the I iydaspc*, and 

Battle with Porus. B. C. 327 ... 182 

VIII I fill of Sangala between the Rivers Chenab 

and Ravi ... ... ... 206 

IX Campaign of Alexander in Sindh ... 284 

Travels of Hwen Thfcang in N. W. India. 

B. C 635.637 ... ... ... 375 

XI I ravels of Hwen In wing in the Cnngetic 

Provinces ... ... ... 445 

XII Map of Gaya and Bihar. A. D. 650. allowing 

Hwen Thsang s route ... ... 518 

XIII Map of the Eastern Coast between the Rivers 

Godavari and Krishna .. ... 603 

XIV. Ancient Indian Sites To lacc Index 




1. Pioneers in this field of research. 

I Mr . Francis Wil/ord, Engin ccr.— " A learned and 
laborious. but injudicious writer*’ (Wilson's Hindu 
Theatre. I 9). His essays — on Egypt and the Nile from 
the Ancient Books of the Hindus ; the Sacred Islands in 
the West ; etc. ( Asiatic Researches III. IX. XIV); the 
Comparative Geography of India (published posthu- 
mously in I ft5 1 >. His great merit was to point out the 
existence of Sanskrit source# of geography. His account 
of the Nile from Sanskrit source* enabled Lieut. J. H 
Sprke in discover i|h source. (Speke's Discovery of the 
Source of the Nile. chap*. I. V. X) 

2. //. //. Wilson . — In 1824 he contributed to the 
Oriental Magazine (Vol. II. p IK)) an article in which 
hr described a Sir. MS. professing to be a section of 
the Blmhishya Furfino which elucidate* the local 
geography of Bengal. In his translation of the Y'ishnu 
l p urana hr commented on the I’tiriinic geography. I lis 
.Votes on the Inthca of Ctesiaa was published in 18)6 
(Oxford). The geographical poition of his Ariwia Antiqua 
(London. I/Ml) — an account of the coins and antiquities 
discovered by Mr. Masson during his travels in Afghanis- 
tan— -is full and valuable. 

3. Christian /.arisen -the encyclopaedic Indologist. — 
(a) //is Pentapotamia Indie a (1827) uives Hit account of 
the Punjab from the "classical* ' *>UfC*a and from the 
MahOhMrata , the Kosha* and other Skr source*, (M In 
the geographical section of hi* Indische Allcrthumsf^unJe 


(Bonn. 1843) — the very learned am! exhaustive work on 
the antiquities of India — he described the physical 
features of India and gave (especially in the footnotes) 
whatever information lie could collect from classical 
and Skr. sources. Though “hit* system of identification 
is based on a wrong principle’’ (M'Crindlc's Ptolemy. 
Preface, p. vii) and hence many of his identifies- 
tons are wrong (Purgitcr in 1895. p. 250). these 

works of emdition are precious mines of materials 
utilised by latci scholars 

4 Vivien do Saint-Stariin, the father ol the 
geography of Ancient India. — (o) His Elude «ir la 
geographic cl le s populations primitive* du Nord-ouest 
dr Linde d'apres Jr* Hymnes Vediques (Paris. 186/)) i* 
the sole work on Vedic geography, It* treatment is 
masterly in the extreme But as he relied solely on VI 
l~anglois*s French translation of the Rigoeda “a version 
which does not seem altogethei to have commended itself 
to later interpreters” (E. Thoma* in J. R. A. S.. 1883, 
p 356)— and as much Vedic research has been done since 
that time, it is necessary to revise this Etude 

In his (fe) F.tude sur la geographte Grocque el La tine 
dr Linde, et on particular sur Linde do Ptolfimic and (c) 
Afemoire Analytiquc sur la carte de LA sic centrale el de 
Linde (appended to Vol. Ill of M. Julien’s translation of 
Hwcn Thsang, 1858). he critically examined the clwicnl 
and the Chinese sources. "His identifications have been 
made with so much care and success that few places 
have escaped his research and most of these have escaped 
only because the imperfection or want of fulness in the 
maps of India rendered actual identifications quite im- 
possible” (Cunningham’* A.S.R.. II. Preface, p. 83). 

5. ^ir Alexander Cunningham , the father of Indian 
archtology A son of Allan Cunningham the poet, he 
came to Indin as a ’‘Royal Engineer.” The influence of 



I’rinsep— ’’the decipherer of the early Indian Alphabets ' 
— made him fix his eyes on the antiquitie} ol this 
country. In 1861 hr applied to Lord Canning to sanction 
an archaeological survey’ which he justly showed in his 
letter to hr the only means for the reconstruction of an 
account of Ancient India He was appointed the 
Archaeological Surveyor in January 1 862 ; but as after a 
few years the pos! was abolished, he went home and 
produced The Ancieni Geography o \ India, Vol. I (1871). 
In it he gave a summary of the results of V. de St. Martin 
and Lassen recited and corrected in light of his own 
researches and discoveries due chiefly to hi* i XM* /rac>rf* 
in this country — an advantage which the earlier writers 
did not possess Thus he brought to a focus the then 
accumulated knowledge into a single English volume 
which is still the work to which every student of this 
subject has to refer to But it must be borne in mind 
that — 

I ci) Cunningham (following St Martin and Ju lien) gave 
in mott cases the proposed restorations of foreign sounds 
as the Skr. names. Though nothing more than this could 
have then been possible, it is clear that such restoration 
of a Greek, Latin or Chinese transcript of an Indian 
proper name could not alway* be identical with the 
original one Hence one ought to search for the original 
names from Indian sources* and there is no doubt that 
they would eventually be found out. IJiua Panin: 
furnishes Kopisi |IV. 2. 99). San^ala (IV. 2 75), Varnu 
(IV. 2. 10). IV 3. 93). Pamata (IV. 2. 143). etc -the 
Skr forms of Knpisene. Singala, Fa-la-na, Po-lo-fo*ta. 
etc II. A. Vol I. p. 21 1 . Kfisika supplies Ayoimikhi 
(A-yc-rnu k.V). Rajatarangini mentions UJabhan Japura 
(Wu-to-ka-han-cha). I'inaya Text* lii. 38) and fataka (iv, 
30) supply Kajangata (Cunningham’s Kajughra) Infcrip 
lion No. 14 of El. VI show* that the Skr fe.rm of Kong 



yu-io is Konfoda and noi konyodha .i» given by 

# (l>) In utilising: the account# of Fa Hian and Hwcii 

Thaang— undoubtedly his chief source*— he took 6 li of 
Hwen TKiang as one mile and one yc/ano of Fa Hian 
to be 675 miles. But later researches Have shed much 
light on this subject causing n scrutinization of his work 
(c) Cunningham usually say* that Hwen Thaang made 
mistakes when his evidence is not in accord with what 
he (Cunningham) wishes to prove. It is very easy to say 
that Hwen Thsang meant Fas! when he wrote West, or 
that instead of a thousand he meant a hundred. But one 
mu»t not do this without any strong proof. 

(r/l He estimated Ptolemy’s geography to be of much 
value (His Preface, p. vii). But it will be shown to be 

(e) Cunningham lurnaclf ha*, in his voluminous reports 
[A£.R.) in 23 volumes (the two only of which were 
written, though not published, before the publication of 
his Geography), embodying his researches occupying j 
period of more than a quarter of a century, abandoned 
many of the identifications stated in his Geography. 
And the researches of various other scholars — M’Crindle, 
Stein, Raverty. Foucher. Fleet. V. Smith, Walter*, to 
name only a few of them) have shown that not only are 
many of his identifications doubtful blit that tome are 
positively wrong. 

6 II Yule . — Hit annotations on Marco Polo and 
his map of Ancient India from classical sources in Dr. 
Smith's Altai of Ancient Geography (1675) are valuable. 

7. Dr. WCrinJIe . the translator of 
Arrian. Strabo. Pcriplus. Ptolemy, and other classical 
writers on India, gave, in Ins geographical note* a 
summary of ihe conclusions of the above writers. 

8 Mr - I lis Geography o/ Rdmn's l\xilc 



O K AS.. 1894). Extern Indian Nation, {] A .S.B .. 1895). 
F.n*. tranulation of Matl<andcya Puidna (Publish.*! by the 
Asiatic Society, Bengal), iValionj at the time o/ the Grcql 
B ar U K.A.5.. 1908). and Ancient Indian Historical Tract- 
lions {Oxford. I922i have elucidated Epic and Puranic 

9. )\andalal Day's dcographical Dictionary of 
Ancient and Mediatval India (A dictionary and not a 
systematic treatise. Ground? of identification* and 
references are generally not given). A second edition of 
it is in course of publication ns an appendix to Indian 

10. pro/. F. PutU's Cartography of India in the 
.Sfudr Italian i di Ai/o/ogia Indo-lranica, Vols IV & V is 
a valuable contribution 

2. Sources of the Geography of Ancient India. 

I. — FoRfJCN* 

]. Classical* 

I hough a lew references lo India may l>e gathered 
horn the Pharnician and Persian sources, they are not of 
any importance Hence of the foieign accounts we have 
first to turn to that of the Gm*.KKS. Their earliest notion 
of the earth wa* that it was a flat and round disc encircled 
by the mighty river — Ocean Homer and his contem- 
poraries knew very little beyond Greece, the Archipelago. 
Aria Minor. Egypt. Sicily and a part of Italy But the 
colonizing spirit expanded their knowledge ; and the fir** 
introduction of maps, at least in Greece, (for the Egyptians 
and Babylonians are said to have drawn maps long 

• Flf*s in I A mi. p. 24 If.: The Evolution of Cro^nphy l >y 
J Keane l/>n rfnn. IfiW; The fW* of Modern Ceogruphy hy C. R. 
lojedna. 1807 etc 



before — J. Keane. p. 5) and the discovery of an instru- 
ment lo &x the latitude by Anaximander, a disciple of 
I bales, helped this expansion. 

HECATOU* (300 a.cj. the first Creek geographer 
knew of two continent]! only -Lurope and Aria (a part 
of which was Africa). Mis Survey of the Work! is 

HERODOTUS H84-43I 8.C.). the Father of History. waa 
a traveller. He rejected the Hat theory of the earth, but 
Kavc none of his own He knew something of the coun- 
tries from Scythia to Abyssinia and from India to the 
Pillars of Hercules. But "his knowledge of India wa* 
meagre and most vague. He knew that it was one of the 
remotest provinces of the Persian Empire towards the 
Last : but of its extent and exact position he had no 
proper conception.'* (M’Cr indie’s A ncicnl India, p I). 
Hence though hi* work can be utilised as a source of 
history for informing us of Skylax s Voyage, etc., ;t 
contributes little towards the geography of India. 

Hie !nt!d(0 of KlLSIAs (306 B.C.j. the royal physician 
of Persia, is full of old wives’ tales not to be trusted 

ALEXANDER THE Great's march through the Punjab 
and Sindh brought, for the first time, the direct Greek 
knowledge of India to the banks of the Sutlej. The 
great invader caused ihc whole of India ( o hr described 
by men well acquainted with it (M’crindlc’a Invasion . p. 
f» f II ) Some of the eminent men of science and letters 
who had accompanied him wrote invaluable memoirs 
which arc now totally lost, but they furnished materials 
to subsequent writers — I. DtoooKl’S (100 B.C — A.l>. 10(0) 
who mixed history with fiction. 2. Pl.t T ARCH. i. SlRMU). 
(60 B.C.— A.D. 19). 4. CURTVUS, (a.D 100). who wag 
‘deficient in the knowledge of Geography. Chronology 
and Astronomy’ (M'Crindle's Invasion, p. II). 5. ARRIAN 
(A.D. 2(X» the best of Alexander’s historians, and 6 



JuslINOS (not later than A.D. 500). A* none of these 
abstractors had even a very flight personal knowledge of 
India, their works, though bo&ed on accounts written bv 
persons who actually visited India, are not ao much 
invaluable for geography as lor history. A little vagucneM 
due to want of personal knowledge and a few mutual 
contradiction* diminish not a little of their usefulness as 
a source of the geography of the North-Western and 
Western districts of India. Hence it is that few of 
the places mentioned in them have been identified with 
any real approach to certainty" (Reel in l A , , 1901. p. 24) 
and a greater number of identifications can only be rrvade 
from Indian sources and not from them. 

MECA3TOIENE5 (305 B.C.). Hid long %toy in the err*/ 
heart o/ India might probably have given hit work great 
authority in topographical matters aUo ; but. unluckily foi 
UP, it exists only in fragments preserved an quotation* 
In the existing fragments we can only find out his idea 
of the -hape of India, names of some mountains and an 
important but doubtful catalogue of Indian races and 

About 240 Hi Eratosthenes, who was placed in 
charge of the great library established by the Ptolemies 
at Alexandria, brought Mathematics to his aid and laid 
the first foundation of a really scientific geography. 
Accepting the theory which is said to have originated 
from Thales luOQ B.C.) but the credit of which ought to 
go to Pythagoras, he took the earth to be spherical and 
as lying in the centre of the universe. Though he had 
various errors. Sir E. Bunbury had justly pointed out that 
hi» geography id not only much nearer to the truth than 
that adopted by Ptolemy three centuries later, but it id 
actually a better approximation than wad arrived at bv 
modern geographers till about two centuries ago. {Hut 
of Ancient Geography, Vol I. P 635). He described 



India on the authority of Alexander** historians, Megas- 
thenre. aryl the Register ol Stathmi or Marches 

Alter the lapse of about two centuries flourished 
Strabo (60 b.c. — AJ>. 19) whose object in writing a new 
geography was to correct the earlier works in light of 
the increase of knowledge’ due to the foundation ol the 
mighty Roman Empire. He ’’did not carry us much 
further than Eratosthenes. Indeed in some respects ho 
is even inferior to his predecessor He distorted the 
shope of various countries. But he conceived rightly, 
noticed the difficulty of correctly representing a curved 
surface on a plane and perceived that a projection mu*t 
be to gome extent erroneous. As for his occounf o/ 
India, he Inmsclf has admitted that it conuof 6c absolutely 
hue. As an apology he has pointed out the difficulty of 
getting correct information about India owing to its great 
distance and to the fact that only a few have ever visited 
it, that those few have visited only a part of it. and that 
those again are ignoran: men unqualified to write An 
account of the places they have visited (Strabo in 
M'Crindle * dneirnf India , pp. 17 and 9 > 

Pi INV. the Naturalist. (a.D. 23-79) dealt with every- 
thing under the sun in his long array of hook*. I laving 
no new theory of his own and having read (as he himself 
ha* *aidl more than 2,000 book*, he became an 
industrious collector from every source But his love 
of the marvellous disposed him to accept far too readily 
even the most absurd fiction lie is also liable to the 
chmge of occasional carelessness in his citation." 
(M’Crindle s Ancient India, p. 102). His notices of Asia 
are fuller and indicate • an increasing trade between 
Europe and the East. And the discovery, made at this 
time by I lippalu* (a navigator who made a study of the 
winds of the Indian Ocean), of the periodic nature of the 
momcons enabling the European navigators to take a 



direct route to India and not a coaiting course, became 
a valuable aid to the commercial relation* with India. 
The hearsay talcs of these rough sailor* were mixed .by 
Pliny with the accounts of Alexander’s companion* and 
of Mrgasthcnrs in his geography of India. (VI Book 
of hi* Natural History), 

The increase of trade with India created the demand 
ot a guide-book which was produced in the form of the 
Pl Rin US ot THI- EftYTHRTAN 5 f.*” hy an anonymous 
writer (first century A.D.). Eryfhr&an sea whs the whole 
expanse of the ocean reaching from the coast of Africa 
to the utmost boundary of ancient knowledge of the Kant, 
h wflj; so rallied from the entrance into it by the straits 
of the Red Sea — the “Erythra* of the Greeks. This 
Peri pin* contains the best uecoimf o/ the commerce 
carried on from the Red Sea and the coast of Africa to 
the l-*i*t Indie* during the time that Egypt was a Roman 
province It mention* river mouths, ports etc., with 
distances from one another, exports, imports, and such 
other details ad a merchant would moat value. The 
author of the Periplu* ccidently sailed in person round 
the const of Indio But owing to the occasional shifting 
of va side ernporia. we cannot now expect to find every 
place on the coast mentioned by him. As to inland 
details, he Was not correct. Phiis he placed Paithan at 
a distance of twenty days’ journey to the south of 
Barygaza while it is 200 miles to the south-east of it. 
Tho* we cannot trust it ns a geographical source for 
inland knowledge, though wr can take its mention of 
commercial products to be true 

I he greatest figure ol this period is PrOIXMN . whose 
mirne marks the highest pitch of perfection in early 
geography. Klaudios Ptolcmaio* who flourished in 
Alexandria (ci>co a.p. I50| was a musician, mathematician, 
astronomer *nd geographer His work on geography i* a 



sequel to his great ’Almagest. " It is not a descriptive 
geography like that of Strabo, hut is exclusively a 
mathematical or cosmical one His object was to correct 
and reform the map of the world. So he explained the 
geometrical principles of geography and pointed out 
that the only scientific basis on which a map could be 
constructed must be made on astronomical observation*. 
Hence in describing places he gives their longitudes 
(calculated from Ferro in the Canaries! and latitudes 
(parallel o( Rhodes) These scientific features are the 
causes of his wide celebrity. But hr* system has many 
detects : — 

(II He placed the equator at a considerable distance 
from its true geographical position and vitiated his 
Eastern longitudes by about seven degrees. 

(2) He took every decree ol latitude and of longitude 
measured at the equator as equal to 500 stadia instead 
oj 600 stadia (or 60 geographical miles). And thus if he 
had arrived at the conclusion that two places were 3000 
stadia from each other, he would place them at a distance 
of ten degrees apart and thus, in fact, separate them by 
an interval of 6000 stadia 

(3) As only a jew astronomical observations were 
made in his time, he had to rely (and specially so in the 
case of India of which he had not even the slightest 
personal observation! upon second-hand information — 
reports of travellers, navigators and works ol previous 

(4) In general shape his countries are narrowed at 
the north and enormously extended a* they approach the 
south : so that the eastern parts of Asia are carried .« 
long way beyond their true distance from Europe and 

(5) As the result of the above defects, the shape o/ 
India is utterly distorted in his map. His results would 



place Pailhan in the Bay o( Bengal, make Ceylon an 
enormous island, make the Ganges flow in^> the aea 
somewhere near Canton, make the Mahanadi river rjm 
over Siam and Cambodia, cany Patnliputra to the east 
of a line from Tonquin to Pekin, etc 

Thus we see that unless we have a thorough adjust- 
ment of Ptolemy's results for India, it is with but little 
confidence that we can use it. with only our present 
means of applying information given in it, towards 
reconstructing the geography and political divisions of 
Ancient India. 

It 19 needle** to mention the other classical writers 
| translated by M'Crindle in his Ancient lndia\. though 
they supply some historical information, they do little 
more than mentioning a few distorted Indian geographic uf 
names wihoul the specification of any distance or direc- 
tion. Nor was the old classical culture destined to live 
long after Ptolemy and the author of PfctfTINCTR TABLES 
<A.O 222 ). 

2. Early Christian. 

The spread of Christianity ruined the old "pagan" 
culture . Ihe Hebrew theory of flat earth surrounded by 
the ocean and having massive pillars at the edges on 
which the heaven rests like a roof banished the Greek 
spheroidal view. While the old classical structure was 
undermined, little was done to further any knowledge. 
The only work of this period in which we have any 
interest is The Christian Topography of the Universe 
iM'Qindle’s translation of the complete work published 
by the Hakluyt Society. I897| by the Egyptian monk 
COSMAS, nicknamed iNDtCOPtCUSTTS (Indian traveller), 
who travelled from Egypt to India and Ceylon (A.D. 547) 
Reviling the impious old pagans for their spheroidal view, 
he depicts the world in his map— the earliest Christian 



map — as a flat rectangular island surrounded by the sea 
beyond which are other regions. He had no idea o( 
what geography is and his work contributed little to the 
historical geography of India, AH that we can learn from 
him is the name o ( certain western and South Indian 
placet and their trade. 

3. Arabic. 

As Arabic enterprise extended their commercial 
relations far beyond the limits of Ptolemy’s world, their 
knowledge was wider than his and far sounder for many 
regions in the east and south (Pastern Asia, Africa). In 
geography, as ir» astronomy, they had worked on the ohl 
Greek Unet, but on them they had built up their own 
structures by independent researches on mathematical 
calculations and reports of travellers. But Arabic geo 
graptiy never got beyond a certain point. It never threw 
up a truly great writer like Strabo or Ptolemy, What 
they did was to preserve the Greek tradition and to 
improve it. while Europe WC» degrading into barbari$m 
owing to ecclesiastical authority. “Men like MaSSOWY 
Ia. IX 95b). Al hfki Nl or F.D«lsj (I Ith century) had a better 
and more adequate conception than any Christian hefore 
\.l>. I 500 . Hie construction of maps and globes reached 
a cons’derable proficiency in their hand while the Christian 
ones* are almost ridiculous Besides the above writers, 
Suaimas {\ d h5l). Abu Zaid (a n 916), Inn Ktwn.vntu 
(a. d. 912 ) At 1 1 akhrj (a. n 951) and At. KaZWIM (a. r>. 
1275) have written about India. But the distortion of 
Indian names in their works perplexes much AUJF.RUNt’S 
knowledge of Sanskrit enabled him to give a transcript as 
faithful ns the use of the Semitic alphabet allowed him 
But his geographical account of India i* not a new 
account . it is mainly a synopsis (chaps. 25, 29] of the 
Hindu accounts— Rhucano-kosa and Ktirmavibh&ga. He 



Ims only added a lew note* on them. Hi* original 
contribution |ch*p. I8| it the account ol 16 itineraries 
which *rem to have been communicated toliim by the 
military and civil officers ol Mahmud Here he mentions 
directions and distance* in farso^h ( - 3 miles approx.) 
||RN BAU/IA in Sindh. J.R.A.S.. 1887. p. 401 fT and a map 
in 188*); RASHIDUOOIN'S geographical notices of India— 
Col. Yule in J.R.AS.. 1869-70. P . 340 ff | 

4. Chinese. 

Having discovered the use ol the magnet as early as 
the third century A. D , the Chinese could make extensive 
nea- voyages. They are even alleged to have discovered 
what is now known aft the North America in A. D. >00 
f Beaz!y*» Dawn of Modern Geography, pp. 489-% ; 493). 
The conversion ol this nation into Buddhism which wa* 
introduced into their country in A. l>. 67 (Tikakusu'k 
lifting. Intioduction) caused a series ol pilgrims to visit 
India — the land of Buddha — and write invalimblr accounts 
of it. 

As the Greeks and the early Arabs visited India cither 
in the track ol some invader or as merchant*, their 
accounts chiefly inform us of the military glories of nations 
or ol kings little known or altogether unknown in Indian 
literature which is deficient in the historical ?**nsr, or of 
the trades of places which have long ago been deserted 
or buried in the silts of rivers and are no longer 
remembered Hence though these source* give much 
information, they do not contribute much to the study of 
geography. Rather it requires much research to elucidate 
these foreign accounts. 

But the case is different with the Chinese. These 
pilgrims, saturated with Ind'nn ideas, virited their holv 
land and described the sacred monuments of places which 
have been immortalized in Sanskrit or Pali literature, 



some of which stilJ retain their celebrity, while the ruin* 
of some others still exist enabling us to understand their 
Chinese description Thi* fact explains the importance 
of T he i hincsr sources. 

Of the various Chinese accounts, those of Sung-Yun 
and Hwi Sf.NG (A.D. 60Tl . translated in Beal's Record* 
o/ the Wettcrn World, Vol. I ; and in Bull, de I'EcoU' 
Ft. d' Extreme-Orient. Hanoi, 1903) and of O-KuNC (A.O 
800; translated in the Journal Aaialiquc, 1895) are very 
short, describing a few places of North-Western India 
(Kabul Valley, the Punjab and Kashmir). 

iTStNG landed at TSmralipti. the then port on the 
Bay of Bengal, in A.D. 673 and visited Nalanda, Gridhra- 
fctiu. Buddha gay a, Vmsnlf. Kustnagara. Kapilavastu. 
SrivMti. the Deerpark. Cock Mountain, and left India 
from Tamralipti (Translated by Dr Takakusu, C. P. S 
Oxford. 18%). His account was not accessible to |Sir| 
Alexander Cunningham. 

Still more important arc the accounts of Fa-HiaN 
{ a.i>. 399-4141 and H'WTN Thsang (a.d. 62945) or Yuan- 
CHWASC (as Mr Watters prefers to spell it). FA-HIAN 
entered India from the North-West, travelled over the 
whole of the Aryavarta and left it at the port of I amralipti 
His record \FoKitcKi) is truthful, clear and straight 
forward Though a devout Buddhist, he was a sensible 
and not often a hysterical pilgrim-traveller The earlier 
part of his work is strictly geographical Blit when he 
reached India, religion had the better of his geography 
S;il| his geographical notices are valuable foi their 
precision, as he generally fixed the portion of every pliic** 
that he visited by it? bearing and distance from that which 
hr left 

Yiian Chwang also entered India from the North 
West, travelled through the whole of it and left it by the 
same route His record* — Si-Yu-Kf — are fuller than even 



lhat of K.i-Hian and it is almost impossible to exaggerate 
their importance. 

In utilising material* from these sources ** student 
should note that : — 

I In giving the direction of a place from another 
Fn-Htan mentions only the four principal cardinal points. 
(Hence his K may mean N.F.. or S.E.; and so with the 
other points. | Ytien Chwang also generally does the 
rame : and very seldom does he give the direction as due 
N E., etc But still there are other points of the compass 
l>eyond these eight. 

II. In stating the distance of a place from another. 
I a-Hian states it in the yojana and Yuan Chwang in the 
yojana and the It measure. Dividing the known-distance- 
in-mile* by the number of ijojowa which the distance 
covers according to these pilgrims. Cunningham asserted 
that a t/ojana of Yflan Chwang is 6 75 miles while that of 
r«-l lian is 6 71 mile*. 

Mr \ Smith takes a yojana of Yuan Chwang to be 
6 5 mile* and one of Fa -Hi an to t>e 7 25 mile* 

M. lulien and probably Dr Stein lake 8 miles as 
equal to one yojana of Yuan Chwang, while in the opinion 
of Mr dies a yojana of Fa-Hian vanes from > to 9 miles 

Now Yuan Chwang has himself stated (Watters. 
Vol I. p HI -2) that a yojana is a day's march for a Royal 
army ; that there are three kinds of yo)ana% of 16 li (found 
in Sacred Writings), of 50 li (common leckonmg in India) 
and of 40 li lold Chinese account) He has also stated 
that a yojana consisted of eight krozas (a krosa being 
originally the distance that the lowing of a cow can he 
heard) He ha* also given figures to change a frroso into 
bows . * cubits . fingeis and bo r ley *c orris. Making 
calculations from these materials Fleet tried to prove th<«t 
there were three kinds of yojana* : — I MaCaPHa YOJANA 
lused by the Buddhists) of 16000 hadas or 4 54 miles: 



II. GENERAL YOjAK'A of 32000 hatlaa ot 9W miles 

III. A THIRD VQJAN* (which wad according lo Yuan 
Chwarsr ['/) o i the general yojanc t) of 1212 miles. This 
third yojana was. according to Fleet, the original yojana 
(irom yuj, to yoke}— the yoking distance— the distance 
along which a pail of bullocks could draw a fully !<*den 
Oft. This yojana was taken by the Chinese pilgrims as 
cqu^l to 100 *7f'Y \J R.A.S., 1906. p 1011. | 

In making the above calculations Fleet took a hast a 
Vl yard. But Major Vost has shewn from Medieval and 
Ancient Chinese and other sources that the ha&ta was 
formerly taken to be a little larger than is done now 
I/.R./1S., 1903. p 65 I Hence taking hir calculations the 
three yojanas will be— miles or 5 3 miles very 
nearly; II 106 miles very nearly. Ill- 14 2 mile* very 

I Hus 100 If s or a yojana denoted the distance 
occupied in making a Jay a journey. F he *aid day’s 
journey averaged very closely nhouf fourteen mile*. But 
being actually determined in each case by such consider® 
tions as the nature of the country traversed and the 
d. stance between the villages, jurat*, dharmnul i>\ ,»nd other 
convenient halting places, it might easily hr anything 
from twelve to sixteen miles and in exceptional cases 
might have even a wider range in either direction 

III. Aram* as Fa-Hum gives distances in i/ojunus 
only and not in fractions of it. hi* one yo/uno may he any 
distance more than / ifojann and less than Ikj yojana*. 
Yiian C'hwang also use® round numbers, such hs 500 
"If Y 60n *7i**s, etc. Hence we may allow a certain 
margin nnl take his 500 - 7i”s as any distance above 450 
and below 530 *7i'Y Thus the distance s of both the 
Chinese pilgrims can be taken only ar approximation s 

IV Yuan C hwang s dimensions of various countries 
are generally taken to he exaggerations. It became a 



common practice of Cunningham to take his thousand* a* 
hundreds. But a* Yuan Chwang has not stated these 
details in the decimal system of notation, he is* not justi- 
fied to do so. Nor can wc condemn his details of tin* 
kind in genera) term* without considering how they can 
be applied, l or as he usually stated these details in 
thousands of "/i s any one of them may be 50 mile* too 
great or too little Again re-entering angle* may increase 
a pen meter very considerably, while reducing the area 
inside it Conventional ideas as to the size of a country 
may also have caused some errors in his details. | / ft 

A. S., 1907. p. 641 fl.| 

V. A* the name* of a country and its capital are 
sometimes identical |and even when not identical Yuan 
Chwang has not mentioned them both) and as Yiian 
Chwang has not nlways precisely stated whether by a 
certain place-name he means a capital or a country, the 
distance* and d-rectians given bv him cannot precisely 
be traced on the map. though the best way would be to 
take them as Irom each capital to the next one. 

VI Ihr peculiarity of Chinese phonetics caused 
Yuan Chwang to insert vowels between Skr. conjunct* 
and to use *T' for Skr A:. *h. gb : ch for Skr. c h. chh . 
U jh : I (cerebral) for the cerebrals th> J, Jh. {$. str ; 
t (dental) for the dental* I, th, d, dh : p for p, ph, h. bh ; 
I for r. / ; / for h and 0- Hence the difficulty in finding 
out the true Skr form. 

VII. Again cases of discrepancy between the 
Records (of the Western World written by the pilgrim 
himself) and the Life (of the pilgnm composed by a friend 
of him) and some apparent mutual contradictions and a 
few various readings show that the writings of Ytian 
Chwang have not been correctly transmitted to us. 

We thus see that even the very hest of the foreign 
sources are not fully satisfactory and though the results 




arrived at from them nrC of preal value, they cannot be 
taken a* anything f norc than mere appioximation*. 

I he Chinese source also includes various notes on 
India — in Chinese histories and specially in the Chinese 
translations of Indian works. M Sytvain Levi and his 
pupils have drawn the attention of Indologists to these 

3. A critical estimate of Indigenous sources. 

Though the ancient Indians did not pay much mien- 
r on to history, iheie are ample geographical materials. 

Expansion ol geographical knowledge is due to 
ll) military expedition and colonizing spirit. (21 commercial 
relations. <3| religious activity, and. in the modem age. 
I.4| scientific exploration. Alexander’s Historians’ and 
Alberuni's knowledge ol India was due to the first cause. 
Pliny and the author o( the Periplus utilized materials 
accumulated by commercial enterprisers The Chinese 
pilgrims’ visit to India was actuated by religion. Similar 
also is the case with the ancient Indians Their foreign 
conquest and colonization are made known to us by a 
series of Sanskrit Inscriptions discovered in Further India 
and the Indian Archipelago. A fourth century >D. Pillar 
Inscription of the Buddhist sea-captain Mahanavika 
Buddhagupta ol Raktamrlilttika (mod Ranp.'uniili in 
Murshidahad district. Bengal) has been discovered* in the 
Wellesley district of the Malay Peninsula. A series of 
inscriptions! proves clearly that there ruled, in Further 
India, from the second century A.D up to the seventh 

•K«n. Kcuvcufo Gcrh'lltcA. III. <Wl»). p. 2%. 

t Br.K-iate'. Inn Son A du Cimpo «l Cambodge < !»*>»> : Hut- 
Ruilc FEO. II. p. I Si. III. 206-11 , IV. p. 018. XI. p 264. XII. 

8. pp 15-16. XV. No 2. pp. J->. B«lh« /-IK- S* Ja Cmmlader 



century at least, a line ol Saiva Hindu king* (Dharma 
mahArajas) claiming descent from Aftvatthaman, son ol 
Ooiia. Four Yupa inscriptions 4 of king Mulavarmar* 
in the fourth or fifth century A.D Pallava characters, dis 
covered in 1879-80 nt Kcctei in East Borneo, show the 
existence of a powerful Hindu foyol dynasty at that place. 
As for the Brahman colony in Fnhien’a Yc-po-ti (Java, or 
perhaps, Sumatra) and the extensive Buddhist min* in 
Java, they Are too well-known to call for any remark 
Recent discoveries in Central Asia exhibit political and 
diplomatic relations of India with Central Asian states 
(so often referred to in Indian literature). 

As for commercial intercourse. Von Ihering (in his 
Prehistoric Indo-Europeans) and J. Kennedy (in J.R.A.S 
1895. pp 241 68) have shown the activity of the early 
Indians in trading with the Persian Gulf tribes. A couple 
ol Kanaresc sentences found embodied in the Greek farce 
in the Papyrus of Oxyrhvnchust of the first or second 
century A D. indicates commercial relations of an intimate 
nature between Egypt and the Kansresr-speaking 
Dravidinn* of Southern India Cornelius Nepo* (who 
died in the reign of Emperor Augustus. 14 fl.C. — A.D. 14) 
had mentioned Indian commercial activity even in 
Germany I There are clear statements in lamil literature 
supporting Fahien** mention of early Indian's voyage to 
lava. Sumatra and China. § 

As for religious activity in this direction. Aaoka's 
sending Buddhist Missionaries to Syria, Egypt and 
Maced onia is known to all Students o? History. The 

• Dr Vogel in Oorrdru^ ini dt IS tjdrwn M dc Tookn \ 'n/Wn 
\*drr\andm:h-lndii l\ct 7 A. Afta*erln* 1-2. I9WI 
t I HAS, I*M. vp W-405 
t M'Crindle** An r tnd .. p. 110. 

$ Aiyangar‘« Ri'jrtnnfnjit •>/ South tnd'on Hid. pj» I I’M 



recent discoveries in Central Asia exhibit the Kreat 
influence of Buddhist Missionaries in that region India s 
connection with Iibct. China. Japan and Manchuria does 
not require any comment. Even such a distant place as 
Lord North s Island in Micronesia/ was indebted to 
Buddhist Missionaries for its religious instruction. 

We thus see that the political, commercial, and 
religious activities of early Indians made them acquainted 
with the greater part of the then known countries of the 
world. And this acquaintance certainly broadened their 
knowledge of the geography of foreign lands. And 
though, owing to their so-called want of historical faculty 
or to their want of vanity, they left no autobiographies 
or private memoirs, prripfi or itineraries like those of 
Fa hk n or Yuan Givvang to perpetuate their names, yet. 
the nock of knowledge thus accumulated was not coin 
pletely loot. It ha* been preserved in a corrupted form 
in the Epic And Puranic conception of the world as 
containing seven concentric islands— Jambu. Saka, Kiwi. 
Salmala. Krauncha. Gomrda (Gomanda or PUkshal. and 
Pushkarat — encircled by neveri Samudros.t Though this 
conception is childish, we ought not to compare it with 

• /oumaJ of the American 0'‘cn/ot Society, vol V. 194. 
t The order varies «n d»£rrcnl wuiin. 

X Thr Ruddhiat ay*»trm Count* eight and hn» dilfcrcnl 

names Cue ftOme ol the Sormidrn* {See Pulle'a Stud i ft a fit* l *f* 
FJofocio /nc/o-//«nic«. rol IV. pp. 15-16; ate al»o JR AS, l9l)2. 
p 142; \W. p. 42.) In Jain* tradition we hava nrw name*. A 

chapter muled Olivwonu addd mtarlad incidentally in /lOilhfifjtame* 

•Utrm iuyiic* the following dt4paa I. Jefohu. 2 DhfreiKhamdo. 
y Puft^harnraro. 4 KmunawM. 5. /Ciir/tfOi. 6 Ghotcvara, 7. 
KhcJavara, A .N<indi*orovdrii. 9. d renai or«l. 10 ^inwinroaiio. 
II. KvnJoto. 12 Kundelavara. I) AToJidolatfaratiuto. 14 Ru yutfa. 
15. Rowmwo. 16 RufajmmCvaa. 17 Ultra. IA J/ifriCBm. 19. 
HtirncarmuiM Th* iumn af ihe fir»l Iwtj ocean* arc /.uconu 
•emutida and KoJoyo {Sk Katoda) . tlvc other names are made by 
adding udo ( * water) to the names of the dvtpai Hhcfci'ati Stit'O 



that of the twentieth century and stigmatize it a* ridi- 
culous If we compare this fourth or third ccjitury B.C 
conception of the earth with even the tenth or elevenjh 
century Christian conception a* depicted in the maps 
reproduced in Keane s Evolution of (jeography (Ldward 
Stanford, London. I899l. si would not certainly appear to 
be more ridiculous. The true conception of the earth *‘s 
a thing of modern times — it was formed after the first 
circumnavigation. Ancient nations had strange notions 
The conception of the different parts of the earth as so 
many islands was maintained also by the Greek*, and is 
referred to by Teopompo in Eiiano. by Kratosthenes. and 
by Strabo * As for the Indian theory of concentric 
islands, its origin may be explained thus: — (II the change 
of meanings of the words Jtrpo and samudra : doipa 
(derived by Panini as doi 1 0.0 ; and thus etymologically 
connected with doobl meant, primarily, land having water 
(end not seal on two land not all) of its sides. The 
Original meaning of namudrQ is a collection of water. t 
These words lost their original meanings and came to 
mean la land and *co respectively. (2) Now when the 
fc’pic and Puranic writers (who had not the slightest 
personal knowledge of foreign lands) attempted the 
difficult task of arranging the traditional accounts of the 
different parts of the then known world handed down 
from those who actually visited them, they harmonized < » 
thr different accounts by reducing them to this system 
But though their system is wrong and though there is 

(II. 6. 1-9| J**nbuJdhM ***«!*> <#o»»**»mudJdnurn 

bfantore and that lU (in* three only of thr shave d*tpa* a rr inhabited 
h, . Mn — Ike TV**-** m) (II. ». I 21 I S» PulW’* Sfurf*. IV 
pp 10 20; IB DP AS. II. p 411.1 

* Pullr'fc StuJi. »ol IV. p. 3). (ol.lnu T oopo-npn n-l El-no m 
i !c it lullai lornwl cjt»*inn ft-ijCT*. "OrUrlMc dot wi« 
OognipKii* dor GrlecHen.** p 12 

t Si. MmuiTv <7<v»*r„pf»r d u Vi do. P 62. 



plenty of the fabulous in Hindu Geography. their accounts 
of the different parts of the world were based on fact*. 
Mr. Wilford collected an account of the River Nile and 
of its source and reconstructed a map out of the Puranas * 
H. II. Wilson called him an ' injudicious writer. “f 
Cunningham remarked that hi* essay is a “wild specula- 
tion. “I St. Martin stated him to be the first victim of the 
“imposture" geographical literature of the I lindu$.§ But 
Lieut. J. H Speke, (in his Discovery o/ the Source o/ the 
Nile, chaps. I, V', X) unhesitatingly states that when 
planning his discovery of the source of the Nile, he 
secured his best information from Wilford’s map and 
testifies to the substantial correctness of the Puranic 
account.|| Is it not enough to repay the labours of the 
Purana-writcrs that it is they (and not Ptolemy, the great 
geographer of Greek Egypt) who helped the nineteenth 
century explorer with their accurate knowledge of that 
part of the country ? As the subject of our study is the 
ancient geography of India and not the geographic*! 
theories of ancient Indians, we dismiss the theory of seven 
dciftas with these remarks and return to the sources 
describing India only. 

Ibe indigenous geography of India is, like every 
other Indian Science* chiefly dependent on religion India 
i* a land of tlriha» — her every crag, every spring, every 
river, and every hoary tree is sacred. As it is a duty of 
every pious Indian — Hindu, Jaina. or Buddhist — to make 
pilgrimages, pilgrims travelled far and wide to pay their 
respect* to the objects of their veneration. This expanded 
their knowledge which has been embalmed in the sacred 

• A\%ornK Remnhti. III 

t HtnJn Th**rm t »oh I. p. 9 

I A S R . vol. I. P ii. 

§ St. Mutin'* Eta t actucf d<» Hudt % jjr f Ind* un<» «mr. p. tn) 

li ScKntT. Prnplc. pp B7 unA 230 



literature— -Orthodox (Hindu) or Heterodox (Jaina and 
Buddhist). Thus. though disregard to the historical order 
of things, owing to their peculiar religious idea that 
worldly existence is a misery, h*s caused the want of 
historical accounts, yet it is that same peculiar religion 
which did much to preserve the materials of geography. 
And though there is plenty of the fabulous in Indian 
geography of outlandish regions, the allusions to purely 
Indian topography arc generally sober. The mam features 
of the country were adequately known in very early 

Let us now examine the different branches of Indian 
literature as geographical sources. The VEDA.9 are our 
only source of the geography of Vedic India. Vivien de 
St. Marlin first handled tire subject. It wm also taken up 
by Zimmer in his AU-lndi$che I.cbcn. Hillebrandt. 
Ptschrl, Roth and other V edic scholars also have touched 
on the subject, Bmnhofer has attempted, in hi* iron und 
Turar . to locale various Vedic rivers in regions outside 

The R|t)gi?cdo Scnihiia generally mentions tribes and 
rivers only. Names of countries occur -cldom In the 
mention of the following rivers, there is. as Sir A. Stein' 4 
has pointed out. a strict geographical order: — Canga. 
Yamuna, (and the following tributaries of the Indus) 
Snrasvati. Sutudri (Satadru. Satlej). Parushni (Ravi}. 
Asiknf ( Akennes. Chenab). M*rudvT|i)ddhat 
Vitastfi (Jhelum). R(i)jikiya and Sushoma (Sohan) As we 
find in this list {RifiiHfJa, X. 75. 5) a strict geographical 
order in the mention of the eatfern tributaries of the 
Indus, we ought lo take the same order to guide us in 

• Bhtxijark*' Commemoration Tnfum* 

t $t*.n ho* uJrntlhrd u with ih*» which flow* 

Iran nofth «u w>nlli thrmigV the Maru >«lley of »h* Kmhmir J*mmu 
•tacr arxf i*wn* thr Ch*n*l» «i Ki**w*r 



identifying the western tributaries mentioned in the next 
verse — Tristfima. Susariu. Sveti ( Wt ), Gomati (Comal). 
Krunui iKurram). Kubha (Kabuli and MehaittU. In the 
next two vcr*f* (X. 75. 7-8) are named some rivers. As 
KiiiVcJa \ 64 8 mentions trisapia tasra nadyal i. thrice 
wven sister rivers, we ought to find the names of seven 
rivers in X. 75 7-8. Sayana was ignorant of the geography 
of the North-Western Frontier, and therefore explained 
these words as adjectives But these words are to be 
taken as proper names — Urnavati, Silamavati, R(i)jiti. Chitra. Hiranmayi and Rn*( T lati — seven tributaries 
of the Indu* to he located to the north west. The last 
five (and Anjasi. Amsu<n Imati. Asml TF)anmati. Kulisi lift) 
and Virapatnil have not been mentioned in Macdonell 
and Keith s ledic Index of Name* and Subjects. But 
those five are to be taken proper names, and geo- 
graphical order will be a guide in live attempt to locate 

The Indus and its tributaries are seldom mentioned 
in live Vaj’urpcAi, for the Aryans then lived in the territory 
of Kurtl-Pafichala (Thaneswar and Roliilkhand). the old 
capital of which, Kainpila, is mentioned. The Satapatha 
Btdhmana (I. d. I. 10-181 records the Aryan migration to 
Videha (Tirhut) : while the Aihan arcJa Samhita shows 
that the Aryans were then acquainted with Anga and 
Magadha (which might have been known in Rigvrdir age 
a* Kikata, (z a country of the non- Aryans, whose leader 
was PraXfaganda who-e name might have some connec 
tion with Mngadha). The Aitarcya Krahmana mentions 
the Aryan Vaidarbhas and the non Arynn Andhras, 
Pundras. ( q**), nlabaras. Pulindas and Mutiba*. The 
Vnngas seem to be mentioned in the Aitarcya Aranya^a 
(ii. I. I) a* a non- Aryan tribe. 

This gradual expansion of the Aryans can also be 
gathered from the Dhamiasulras and Dhannatoittav The 



S “ u “* l 1 '»i*htha. I. 8 . Btiudhayana. I. 1.2. 9. etc.) stAtc the country of the Aryans Nnri«J lies to jast of the 
region where the (Sarasvati) disappears, to the west ,of 
Black fa’?*' IKaHKAVANA*). to the north of PSripatra anJ 
to the south of the Himalayas. It i» strange to note that 
this definition of Aryavartn excludes the greater portion 
of the land of the R(i)RveHic Aryans. A famous episode 
(Kama Salya-samvada) in the Karnaparvan of the Mahi- 
bharata also clearly states the impurity of the Punjab 
tribes during the F.pic age. Various explanations may 
he suggested. (II Dr BiihlerVf theory was that the 
reading of V'asishthn presupposes a reading Adarsa (rf)! 
which was corrupted into Ad;irs( *)ona (<- disappearance) 
and was then paraphrased a* "Vinas( »)an»" (of the 
SarnsvatiJ. Ingenious as this theory is, it is not a good 
solution. Though some of the Sutras and PatafijaK's 
Mahahhnshyn III. J 10) actually five the Western 
houndary to lie A.larsa|V ). we gain little by this reading. 
Adana cannot hr located in the N \V. Frontier so as to 
include the whole o( the Punjab in this Arynvart* of the 
Sfitra*. (2) Recent study of the modern Indian Aryan 

• ! (JfO|xi»r In identify K.iLVmun* ihr rn-Jrtn boundary of 

AiySvnrti of ihr Sfnra*. with pMiy&ga. the ea*rrn boundary of 
Minu » Mniili y«cJrm. which i» identical with the Aryftvoru of the 
Sutra*. As I lie tfUl three binxiidar ic« arc the tttme (Pailpatra being 
n |ortoi> o f th** VindhyanJ. the eastern limit *lw> ought to be 
iJcnliciil In thr Utrr af* thrrr flmiridied n cit> |Pr»y6B*) and 4 
country there, where the ear her literature locate* a forest. Ayodhy*- 
fc undo (LIV and LV| of the ftlnulptna seated that Prayi** was then 
« dMiiitg in • fnreu 

f S.B.E.. vol XIV. P 2 

J tie wrvrrn boundary of the Aryavarta. ta* not l>een 

located by any «rhnUr A« 9T*f*»fVdl XIV. 25. mention* Adar»u 
with the sources of the YAimioL Trigavt*. e« , p m to he pUr#d 
not for licen the Ancient kingdom of Sctigbna *»d TrigAita (Kanaio> 

Varfthamihira’n mmlion make* It clear that it cannot he located in 

the N W Frontier. 



dialect* indicate*, in thr opinion of Sir George Grierson. 
At least two waves of Aryan migration into India. There 
arose a conflict between the Br ah manic* I Inter immigrants 
(now represented by the speakers of Panjabi. R£jaftth&ni. 
Gujarati and Western Hindi) and the anti-Bnhmnnical 
earlier immigrant* (now represented by the speakers of 
Kashmiri, Marathi. Bengali and Oriya). This conflict 
between the two waves of Aryan migrators might have 
cauaed the inhabitants of the Middle land to stigmatize 
thr later immigrants as not truly Aryan and their country 
as outside the pale of Aryan culture. (3) The country 
to the West of the Sarasvati was occupied in the later 
epic age by non- Aryan (Turanian) immigrants — the 
lakkas. Ihey are now to be found in Jammu. Kistwnr 
and other places.* Fhcy claim their descent from 
Takshakn Naga.t The biting of King Pnrikshit by 
Takshaka Naga probably symbolizes the destruction of 
the Aryan power owing to the inroad of the Takkas. Their 
name seems to have some connection with Takshasila . 
fer in connection with the serpent sacrifice performed by 
king Janamrjaya to chastise the Nagas, mention is made 
of his invasion and conquest of Takehasila (A/.fth, Adi 
P.. III. 685-3 ; 832-4 ; XL— XLIV ; XLIX. 1054 : L. 1991). 
As the Pan jab was thus occupied by a non- Aryan race 
or race*, it was outride the boundary of Aryftvarta . (4) 
As for Pargiter's theory that the Aryans migrated to the 
Panjab from the Madhyadeta (Ancient Indian Historical 
Traditions), that cannot explain the above facts. For. 
whether the Panjab was thr original home or not. 
Pargiter could not deny the fact that the Aryans lived 
there during the Vedic age and if it be so. why was it 
excluded from the L*ter Aryavarta ? 

The Dharmasdxtra of Manu, however, calls the 

• A. SR . vol II. p P . 6-7. 
f Tod’* «f Aon. I. p 9 


Arynvaita of the Stitriu lo be the Madhyadcaa or "Middle 
country [Himaoad- 1 indhi/ayor madhyam yat pi'ik. utmi- 
*anad( api, pratyageva Praijdgdchcha Madhya, 

dcsoh | 0 nd greatly extend* the houndarica of its Arya- 
vartn by defining it a* d .SarmrrJrdf tn oai Puu'ad a 
Samudruchcha Poach imut ( cfaflr* ) tayo’-CVantaram 
giryor drydoarttam oidut-budhah. 

The "Middle country of the BlIVHIvl UIEHAtURF." 
expanded to the Raft Its boundaries a* mentioned in 
Mahavagga, V. 13, 12 land Divyavndann| are E.. 
Kajangala* |or Pundraf^T! varddhana acc. to Div.|. 
S. E., River Salalavati |Saravati|: S., the town of 
Sntaknnnika (i>. I. set..): W„ the Brahman district (or 
village) of TTiunat (SthOnal; N., Ustradhajal |Usira| 
"The middle country i* in length 300 yojanas. in breadth 
250 yojona*. in circuit 900 yoianas.Ӥ The sixteen great 
countries mentioned in the Pali literature are : — (I) Atiga 
(C. Champa). (2) MaRadha. (3) Ka»i (sublet to Kofala). 
(91 Kofala (C. Sovallhi). (5) Wajjis. (6) Malls of Kurinora 

• It i> the Ka-thu-wen-kl-lo of YOan CHwnng. who V*.lrd It *1 
a dlrtante of above 400 I) F. from Chnmpi iBhotialpnre). It “<• 
thus .omewbere in Rnimahnl di-iict. It I* the Kaynng.ln mentioned 
in the com. on R»imu|pulu|Cfidfg<t (II. 6) The *. for fa i. to U 
eiplalned a* due lo Prakrit Influence— inlervocal explosive elided and 
« inaerled to -void hiulu»-the 0-*f* -I Jains Prakrit 

t Tl«m> ha. not been identified by any n-hola. A. Yliaa 
Chwangn aieount make* Th»n.»wnr the w~l«r- r«* owntry of lb* 
Budrlhi.l Middle country. I proper to identify Thiana (or Slbuni. nf 
Oilyoiiaddmi) with Slhiln.iivatn StSuna and 3>Mnu -eem to be 
difletent form, of lire same word. ~<h trontkr^. of vowel. being 
fmtnd in Pali and Prakrit f.iura. the wind part of Sthinviav.ra 

(Mod. Hianeawarl ia redundant, it being «lenl*al in rarankns wMb 

Sthlnu ( Siva). 

t UiiiadHaja ia probably Ihira giri. a mountain to the North 
of (Hardwnr)— Hultncli In M. Am. I9». p. 179. 

§ Commentary on lilako and Sirmnngu/o (Rl.yo Dovtd. n 

J R A 5.. 1904. p. 86.1 



and Powa. (7) Chedi, (8) Vatsa (C. Kausfimbi). (9) Kuru, 
(10) PancbAla, III) Matsya. (12) Surasena (C. Mathura) 

1 13) Assaka on the Godavari. (141 Avanti (capital Ujjayini ; 
Mghisuti *m the capital of the southern division o I 
Aoanli or Avanti-dakshinapathu).* (15) Gandhara (C. 
Tokkh<isiI&), |I6) Kamboja in the extreme North-West 
(C. Dvaraka ?|.t The Pali literature gives important 
trade-routes also. I But it plainly indicates that Southern 
India was not then Aryanized. 

The next stage of rhe expansion ol the Aryans is to 
be inferred, as Sir K. G Bhandarkar has shown (Early 
History of Dekkan pp. »-6). from PaMM AND MIS COMMFN- 
I M0H5 Panini (700 B.C.7I, an inhabitant of the extreme 
N. W. of India, has mentioned many place-names of N. 
India and specially of the Panjab and Afghanistan But 
of $. India, he has mentioned only Karhrhha (IV. 2 133). 
Avanti (IV. I. 176). Kosala (IV. I. 171). Karusa and 
baling* (IV. I. I78).§ Thus it appears that S. India 
was probably unknown in his time. katyayano (4W B.C.). 
however, knows even Chola, Mahishtnat and Niisikya. 
In Patanjali's time (150 B.C.) the whole of India was 

The EWCS. Both thr Uanwyano and thr Malw 
bhdraia hive <i> chapter* (the importance of which ha* 
been somewhat impaired by the corruptness of the text*) 
directly dealinR with the geography of India. Kisli- 
kindhy* Kanda. (XL — XLIV) describes the various 
countries of the four quarter* (of Indin) where thr 

• prc4 D R Bhindirltir in hi* Cormkhuef Lecturer. 1018# 

P9 4>. 45 

t RU>» DvivkI* in Buddhi*! Indio, p 2> 
l ibid. pp l(M. 

$ A ( HIU+ ' Km Iven menlionrd by Pifnini But 

lltrv* war Asrnnica n ihr N -W , w m at* nol *urr whklt 

Aimaki |N.-W or S.| h** b»«n rrvrrUinr.rd by Par. ini 



Yanara chiefs were Rent in quest of Sil&. In the ninth 
chapter of the Bhisvna pAnan of the MahAbharata. 
Sanicqja gives a general description of India— long lists 
of countries, nations, mountains and river*. Again thctc 
are |ii) descriptions of certain routes which are invaluable : 
for though the distance is hardly ever mentioned, the 
direction and the mention of known places enable one 
to locate approximately* the unknown I he Ramayana 
describes three routes: — (l| Kama's Journey, in company 
of Visvamitxa, from AyodhyS to Mithilft ; (2> Bharau*- 
return from Kekayu to AyodhyA 13) Rft nu\ exile. |N. 
Das’* Geography of Asia based on the Ramdyana and 
Pargiter's Gcoqraphy of Rama's exile in f.R.A.S., 1694. 
p 231 deal with the subject. | The Mahabharata men- 
tions (I) | Adiparvan | the twelve yrars* sojourn cf Arjuna : 
(21 [5abhaparvan| the conquest of the four quarters by 
the four brothers of Yudhishthira ; (3) |Vanap*rvan| an 
account of the •’TiTthas" and Pandavad’ pilgrimage ; 
(perhaps a later interpolation — but the geographical 
knowledge is certainly based on actual travels cf Pilgrims). 
(4) Kama's digvijay-t : <51 | Asvamedhaparvan) Arjun&'fc 
expedition through various countries. The Udyouaparvan 
and the parvans describing the war mention almost all 
the Indian nations siding with the one party or the other. 
| Pargitcr, On the Nations at the time of the Great War 
in f.R.A.S .. I908.| There are also (fli) numerous incidental 
references. [Sorensens Index of the MohabhArata \ . 
\nother important section is the chapters of the Sabha- 
parvnn dealing with the presents made by different kings 
to Yudhishthira. and as such describing the natural and 
commercial products of the different districts of India. 

The Pur AN AS reserve <i) a section on Geography— 
Bhuoanoko*ho — giving lists of rivers, mountains, countries 
and tribes. They also deal with (#•) Topogrciphia sacra 
and contain (in) many incidental references. (Bhuvana- 



koah of biarkondcya Parana with notes in Pargiter's 
translation of the Pur&na published by the Asiatic Society 
of Bengal/ Geographical name* in the Bhngavata Purina 
in' LA. XXVIII. p. I.J 

The MaHATMYAS (of various tirihas) also deal with 
Topographic sacra. These work* (claiming to be section* 
or portions extracted from Puranaa or Samhitas) set forth 
tho legendary origin of iltiha.%, the rites to be performed 
there, etc. Their importance may be illustrated thus : — 
A long and laborious but fruitless search was made for 
the site of VfttSpi. the capital of the early Chalukyas 
Now the Mahitmya of MahSkGta(z) a tirtha dose to 
Badarni <15° 55' N. Lat. and 75° 41' E. Long.) in Bija- 
pore district localised there the story of the brothers 
Vatapi and llvala vanquished by the sage Ag&Stya. This 
localisation of the story of Vatapi showed that Badarni. 
cloae to the Mho, is the city of Vatapi. (/. A., VIII, 
p. 234.) Dr. Biihler. in his Kdshmir Report, pointed out 
the great geographical importance of the Mahatmyas and 
Dr. Stein has discovered many long forgotten sites with 
their aid. |Stein*s Topography o) Kashmir in hi* Chrcfii- 
clcs of Kasmtr, Vol II 1 The Mihatmya literature it very 

There are also a few WORKS professing to DEAL WITH 
GEOGRAPHY. Mr. Wilford has long ago pointed out 
(/t Sf'otrcJt Researches, XIV. pp. 374-380), the existence 
of the following:— (I) Muftja-pratidcsa i * )- vyavastha. (2) 
Bhoja-pratidesa-vyavastha (a revised edition of I), (3) 
BhuvnnaSagara. (4) A Geography written at the command 
of Bukkaraya. (5) A commentary on the Geography of 
the Mahabharata written by oeder of the Raja of Paulastya 
(> P aurnstya >) by a Pandit in the time of Hussein Shah 
(1489) — a voluminous work. A MS. acquired by Mr. 
Wilford once formed a part of the Library of Fort William 
College : it is now in the Government Sanskrit College 



Library. Calcutta. A detailed description. 4 of th:s Mb. 
has been given by M. M. H P. Sastri in the Journal of 
the llihar and Orissa Research Society (1910). Prof. 
Pull© ha* mentioned (in pp 13-15 of hU Studi Italiahi 
di /* ilologia Indo-lranica, vol IV.) the existence of the 
following geographical works in tlie Library of the 
Nazionale ccntrale di Firenze (Floience. in Italy):— (5) 
Lo^apraWsal u) of K&hemcndra (the celebrated Kasmirian 
writer) : the MS. consists of 782 page# and it is profusely 
illustrated Prof Pulle has reproduced two of its figures 
in his Studi. (6) Three MSS. of Kshctra Samana. a Jain* 
work — with two different commentaries. (7) A MS. of 
KAhetra Samdsa Pra^arana. (8) Four MSS. of Samgha- 
ijuni of Chandrasuri with two commentary* : one of the 
MSS. is illustrated. (9) A Laghu-Samghayanf. He has 
also pointed out the mention of Kshetra Sam fan of Jina 
Bhadra (1457-1517) in Kielhorn s Report (1880-1). of (10) 
Loghu K*hetra Samoso of Ratnaseknara in Weber s Cof 
J\'o. 1042). of (II) T raitokya dipffrd and (12) Troilokjjo 
Datpana quoted by Willord Besides the above. (13) a 
Jama Tittha Kuppo. and (14) Tri*ilali*ctu dealing with 
the topography of Prayaga are also known. 

St Martint characterized the works mentioned by 
Wilford to be ’’imposture literature* without sufficiently 
examining them. Be they ’’imposture* or not, they have 
not yet been sufficiently examined. 

Certain works on POETICS. c.g.. Rajasekhotas Kdoya 
mimdmza (Caekwad Oriental Series) Vagbhat*( Z '» and 
Hemchandra's work* (printed in the KavyamSJa Series), 
contain a section on geography* in order to acquaint a 
poet with the flora and fauna etc., of the variou* districts, 
so that hi* description of them may be faithful The 
\atyaMattra *irSl®!W of Bharata (Kavyam&U Series) also 

• (.*H'tlc+r literature in 5dniitrtJ 

♦ El at actucl tier vtu<tc» »u r T tndc orute nnr p ¥iil 



gives details as to the colours with which to paint acton 
personifying the various tribes of India and its borders. 
It thus give* geographical • and ethnological data. 

| J A S.B.. 1909. pp 359 60.} 

ITie VATSVAYANA KAMA St IRA and its commentary by 
Yasodhara [fir*t edited by the late M.M. Durgfiprasada 
of Joypur| are aUo valuable. I he Sutra refers to various 
countries and the commentary indicates their location. 

Chariia Kavya& — Harshachaiita. Cauda vaKo <*** *%V 
NnvafnhaHankacharita. Vikramankadeva-chaiita. Dvyasra- 
>*k«vya ( nrtWW I. Kumarapalacharitn. Rftma(pala| 
chariti, Prithviraja vijaya. Kirtikaumud). VasantaviUsrt. 
Vallalaeharita. I lammirei mardana. Vemabhupala-charita. 
Achy ttarnyahhyudaya. etc. Though these works have 
many shortcoming* as sources of history, they are 
"invaluable** (as Sir A. Stein says of the K T ) <o? the 
study of historical geography.** 

Even the ORDINARY LTffcftARY WORKS sometimes 
incidentally introduce geography. The plot* of some 
of the plays, the classical poems, and the collection of 
imaginative stories and fables (e g.. Jatakas. Panchfttantra. 
Kath&sariteagarn) were woven round geographical names. 
And such Allusions c*n. to a certain extent, bo put to a 
practical use. I bus the statement of the Dasakumara 
charita that Tamralipti (Mod. Tamluk) was in the Suhma 
country settled the location Suhma (which was formerly 
identified by H. H. Wilson with Atftkan and Tipper ah) 
Similar incidental references are to be met with in every 
department o( literature. The A tihasasira of Kauti !j/a 
and various Ratna-$fytra$ and medical worlds referring to 
the natural products of the various countries also throw 
some light on this subject, and it is with their help that 
I identified Barbaricum, Alexander's Haven and Bettigo 
of Ptolemy. 


Astronomic*! works. Astronomer* discard ed the 
theory of a circular earth (ParirnandaLi) with Mt. Mcru in 
the middle, and proved that the earth is nn immovable 
globe suspended in space. They knew the dimensions 
and indicated the poles and the equator * They cal- 
culated Jctaniara (longitude) and prepared globes. 

The KiwvaVIHIMCa of the (chap. XIV) of 

tfivffl'fv ib very important for geographical study. Here 
Ktirma means the earth, because it resembles a tortoise, 
being round, surrounded by water, and having a 
globular convexity on its surface (Aiberuni.) Its special 
object is to provide an arrangement from which it may 
be determined what countries and peoples would suffer 
calamity when particular nafahatro* arc vexed by planets. 
The 27 nakshatras me divided into nine group* and so 
is the earth fi.e. India). Dr. Heel first examined the list 
(/nd. Ant , XXII. p 169 ff ). Prof. Mario Longhenaf did 
the same, giving references to passages of the epics which 
mention the **me nations, etc The com. of Utpala on 
the {V izionagram Sanbl^tit Series. Benares) gives 

quotations from the Pard&onz ianlra on the same subject 
which has al *0 been treated in chap. LVIII of the 
Mdr^nnr/ei/o Purana. Comparing these three lists, we 
find a number of various readings and the original reading 
can hr reconstructed in some case*. 

The third chapter of BhAskaracharya** work and the 
1 2th chapter of Sur^asMhanta are also important. 

times incidentally give historical and geographical notice*. 
The place of composition or copying :• mentioned in 
some MSS. with detail*. 

•Tlnbaut in his /trfro^omi* (C.nmdri«»l pp. 21. 30 37. 

f P«ttf *. StuJi lUliani. ™l. IV. 




II.— i fttOmONAI . 

LocnK Undilior.*. when properly sifted mi I coiio- 
ItfiratrH by other source* pive some geographical inform** 
lion Tim* Di. FleelV identification ol Sakai* I ) 

ui*h Sialkot ir due to the local tradition recorded in 
Cunningham** A SK . XIV, pp. 44-46. dial it was 
founded by Salya and that il was originally called Snkala. 

Bui tradition sometime* turns oul to be wrong. Thu* 
Gaibandha iRangput district. Bengal) claims to be the 
country of the Matsyas ; Badnagar (Patna district) lo be 
Knndsnapuxa (the capital of Vidarbha) ; but the Epics 
show otherwise. Hence uncorroborated tradition has 
little value The literary sources also sometimes mention 
names which cannot be located. Again tribes die out 
and disappear : towns decay and are deserted ; seaside 
emporia sometimes shift ; ’the names of countries 
| cities, etc. | “change” |Utpala‘s Commentary on the 
tfrOl/iafsamhrtdl though the places themselves survive. 
All these facts make identifications of sites mentioned in 
foreign and indigenous literary sources difficult. Hence 
we have to turn to 


with its three branches (il Monumental Ur) Numismatic, 
arvd (iff) Lpigraphical 

(i) Tor MONUMENTAL remains of d place enable one 
to compare its present ruiim with those described in .1 
foreign or indigenous source Thus Mahaban was long 
taken as the site of Aornos : but Dr. Stein** survey ha* 
proved beyond all question that the natural features of 
that mountain aie totally dissimilar from those of Aornos 
ns described by the historians of Alexander. |/fnn. Rep. 
0 / A S. 1904-5, p. 42. | The existence of a doub’c 
chambered cave answering to the description of Sudatta^ 


PiovM the identification of Polu-sha with ShahbazgaxhL 
(Cunningham's A£.R. t V.. 915.) t 

(ri) Hie discovery of COINS sometimes enables on* 
to locate a particvilar nation or tribe Thus at Nagri. a 
small town M miles north of ChitOr. have been found 
seven copper coins (found nowhere rise) with the legend 
(Vlajhjimikjya s(r)bijanapacia*,V snowing that the 
Afddfcy/im%i* should be located there. (C.A.S.R., VI.. 
pp. 195-205.) But corns pate from one country to another 
and so identifications based on their places of discovery 
rnny be wrong Monuments themselves cannot enable 
us to indicate the real site, unless (a) an ancient descrip- 
tion of the monument is found or (b) it speaks through 
an inscription. Hence for ancient geography, as for 
everythin else connected with the past of India, we are 
really dependent on the (tii) Ej’lCRAttUC RECORDS which 
regulate everything that we can learn from tradition, 
literature, coins, architecture or any other source Thus 
when we find u pillar in aitu bearing the inscription that 
“here was bom the Sakya sage we make an identifica- 
tion of which there can be no doubt. 

Dr. Fleet has classified the epigraphic records 

(a) According to the material on which they have 
been recorded. 

A. Metals : Iron. Gold and Silver inscriptions are 
rare. Press and Prnnzo are more numerous. The 
majority arc on sheets of copper — copper plate. Pattika. 
Tamra-pattikfi or Sfeana <M«wft*i. •»' WVtn 

B. (i) crystal, (r'i) clay, terra cotta and brick, 
(iri) earthenware written with ink. (rt>) stone— (I) Rocks. 
(2) I Mims. (3) relic rcccptAcles. (4) external parts of Stupas. 

Fieri • Article on F.jngrnpKy m Imp G*x. of ln<to. vol. II. 



|5» Caves. lb) Images one! statuer. (7) mould* (or making 
-rats. ((*1 wall*, beams etc. of temple* etc. 

( b ) According lo their topics. 

A. Record* making a plain statement ol event*: 
the Hathigumpha inscription, the Allahabad Pillar inscrip 
lion ol SamudiaCiiptn and a lew other are due to an 
historical instinct 

B Records due to Religious motives : the Pipcawa 
relic vase ; the Rock and Pillar edicts ol Asoka. etc. 

C. Record* ol Religious endowment Barabar cave 
inscription ol Asoka. Bhitnn Pillar, etc. 

I). Recot d* ol Secular donation 
| To these are to be added a new group : — 

E. Literary inscriptions (to preserve Kftvyas ari l 
Nfitakasl The Dhar inscriptions preserving two acts 
ol a drama and two Prakrit poems (E. I. Vlll.}| 

The DONATIVE RECORDS (C.D.) are by lar the 
most numerous ol all. These arc title-deeds ol real 
property and of certificate* of the right to duties, taxes, 
lee*, and other privileges. The essential part of all these 
records was the specification of the details of the donor, 
donee and donation. As donation consisted in most 
cases ol lands, these deed* specified the village, the 
territory wherein it was located, it* boundaries, etc. 
I lence these records are valuable as a source ol 
geography "Thus, not with the express object of preserv- 
ing the history (and geography), but in order to intensify 
the importance ol everything connected with religion and 
to secure grantee* in the possession of properties con- 
veyed to them, there was gradually accumulated almost 
the whole of the great mass of cpie»aphie records on 
which the Indian Archwologut* chiefly depend.*’* 

• D. n«l Ibtd 






R.E., C.S.I.. C.I.E., K.c.i.r, 

Second 8on of Allan Cunningham, the Scotch Poet 

Born 23-1-1814. Educated at 'Christ** Hospital, " 
l^ondon. and at the M. E. I. Coy's Mily. Seminary 
of Addiscombe. and at the R. E. Estate at Chatham 

Second Lieut. Bengal Engineers. 1831. Arrived India 
June 1833. 

Col. R.E. 16 6 I860. Bt. Major Gen I . Retd. List 30-6-1861. 

A D. C. to Lord Auckland. Gov.-Gcnl. of India, July. 
1836 to January. 1840. 

Married. 30-3. 1840. Alicia Maria Whish. daughter ol 
Martin Whish B. C. S. Present at Battle of Punniar 
when he turned the enemy's guns against them. 

With Army of Sutlej 1845-6. 

Chief of Commission on 1-adalc-Tibet boundary with 
C*pt. Strachey and Dr rhomson in 1847, when he 
visited the Temples of Kashmir and wrote the Work* 
Nos. I and 2 in the List below on these Temple* and 
on Ladak. 

Present at battles of Chilianwala and Gujarat 1848 

Held various post* in the P W. D. 1833 to 1861. 

In 1851 explored the Buddhist Monuments of Central 
India along with Lt. Maisey. and wrote the account 
of them iNo. 3 in the List). 

Chief Engineer of Burma 1856 to 1858. and of N \V. P 
1858 to 1861 


Archosological Survey or to Govt of India. December. 
1861 to end of 1663. when he published VoU. I to II 
of the Archaeological Survey. 

Left India in February. 1866. Director of Delhi and 
London Bank in London 1866 to 1870. 

Returned to India as Director Gcnl. of the Archeological 
Survey 1st January. 1871 for 15 years, during which 
he wrote eleven of the volumes marked No. 9 in the 
List below 

Retired on JOtH September, 1883 after a service of about 
50 years in India. 

In retirement in London from October. 1885 to his death 
on November 28. 1893: in this period the Works 
Nos. 10 to 14. and some of No. 15 (See List) were 

Created C. S. I. Way 20. 1871, C.I.E., 

K.C I E . March 21. 1887. 

January 1878. 




MA)Ofl-CF_NFJt\l. Silt Ai.rxandfr Cusnincham. 

I. K»f«y on the Aryan Order of Architecture, as 
exhibited in the Temples of Kashmir. 

— Calcutta. 8vo. 1848. 
Ladak. Physical. Satirical and Historical 

— London, roy. 6vo. 1854. 

3. The Bhilsa Topes, or Buddhist Monuments of Centra! 

India — London, roy 8vo. 1634. 

4. The Ancient Geography of lnd»A I. Phe Buddhist 

Period. — London. 8vo. 1871. 

5 Corpus Inscriptionum Indicamm. Vol I. Inscrip- 

tions of Aftoha. — Calcutta. 4to. 1877 

6 The 5<uprt of Bharhut. a Buddhist Monument. 

— London. 4to. 1879. 

7. Book of Indian Eras, with Tables for calculating dates. 

—Calcutta, roy 8vo. 1883. 

8 Coins of Alexander’s Successors in the East. 

— London. 8vo, 1884 

9 Archied ogica I Survey of India. VoL. I. 2. 3. 5. 9. 

10. II. 14. 15. 16. 17. 20, 21, (13 voL.). 

— Calcutta, roy. 8vo. 1862-1885 

(The remaining volumes. Nos. 4. 6. 7. 8. 12. 13. 18. 
19. 22. 23. 24 were written by Genl. Cunningham's 
Assistants under his superintendence). 

10. Coins of Ancient India from the earliest times down 
to the 7th century A. D 

—London. Bvo. 1891. 



1 1 Mahabodhi or the Great Buddhist Temple under the 
Bodhi Tree at Buddha Gaya. 

— London, 4to. 1892 

IS. Coins of the Indo scythians. Salens. and Kushans. 

— London. 8vo. 1893. 

IT Later Indo-acythiam — London, 8vo. 1893. 

14. Coins of Mediaeval India - London. 8vo. 1893. 

15. Numerous Papers in the Journals of the Asiatic 

Society of Bengal, and Royal Asiatic Society. 
«nd in the Numismatic Chronicle 

— Calcutta and London, 1854 to 1895. 

( Original Title' page) 










U<|Oft<£NdtU- novtL Kiwm Intstu RCTIKB) 

'Varum cl Icricna damanllMIO inlalbfMur. 

Alciandn Migni inwlBnu.."— Win* Hot Sal. l< 





\AII Right* I curved | 











sv IS3 maf®. 




I HE Geography of India may lie conveniently 
divided into a few distinct sections, each broadly 
named after the prevailing religious and political 
character of the period which it embraces, as the 
Brahmanical, the Buddhist, and the Muhammadan. 

The Brahmanical period would trace the gradual 
extension of the Aryan race over Northern India, 
from their first occupation of the Panjab to the rise of 
Buddhism, and would comprise the whole of the 
Prc-historic, or earliest section of their history, 
during which time the religion of the Vedas was the 
prevailing lielief of the country. 

The Buddhist period, or dnerent Geography 
of India, would embrace the rise, extension, and 
decline of the Buddhist faith, from the era of 
Buddha, to the conciuesls of Mahmud of Ghazni, 
during the greater part of which time Buddhism 
was the dominant religion of the country. 

The Muhammadan period, or Modem Geo- 
graphy of India, would embrace the rise and 
extension of the Muhammadan power, from the 
time of Mahmud of Ghazni to the battle of Plasscy. 
or about 750 years, during which time the 
Musalmans were the paramount sovereigns of India. 

The illustration of the Vedic period has already 
been made the subject of a separate work by 


M. Vivien dc Seint-Martin, whose valuable essay* 
on this early sect ion of Indian Geography shows 
how much interesting information may be elicited 
from the Hymns of the Vedas, by an able 
and careful investigator. 

The second, or Ancient period, has been 
partially illustrated by H. H. Wilson, in his 'Aiiana 
Antiqua,' and by Professor Lassen, in his ‘Penta- 
potamia Indica.' These works, however, refer 
only to North-west India: but the Geography of the 
whole country has been ably discussed by Professor 
Lassen, in his large work on Ancient India. + and 
still more fully by M. do Saint-Martin, in two special 
essays, — the one on the Geography of India, as 
derived from Greek and Latin sources, and the other 
in an Appendix to M. Julien's translation of the Life 
and 1 ravels of the Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang.J 
His researches have been conducted with so much 
care and success that few places have escaped identi- 
fication. But so keen is his critical sagacity, that in 
some cases where the imperfection of our maps 
rendered actual identification quite impossible, he 
has indicated the true positions within a few miles. 

For the illustration of the third, or Modern 

•‘Elude lUr In Geographic el let populations primi- 
tives du Nord-Ouesi He I’lndc. d'apres le* Hymnc* 
Wdiqucs ' Paris. 1859. 

t ‘Indiwhe Alteitlium-lunde ' -I voU. Bonn. 

} Elude sur la Geographic Grrcque et Latine de 
I’lnde.* 185ft M Julien's ‘Hiouen Thsang.' vol iii. 
p. 251 : "Memoire Analytique." eic. 



(M-riod, ample mnlrriaU exist in the numerous 
histories of the Muhammadan States of India. No 
attempt, so far as I am aware, has yet been made 
to mark the limits o! the several independent 
■kingdoms that were established in the fifteenth 
century, during the troubles which followed the 
invasion of Timur. The history of this period is 
very confused, owing to the want of a special map. 
showing the boundaries of the different Muham- 
madan kingdoms of Delhi. Jonpur. Bengal. Malwa. 
Gujarat. Sindh. Multan, and Kulbarga. as well as 
the different Hindu State*, such as Gwalior and 
others, which became independent about the same 

I have selected the Buddhist period, or Ancient 
Geography of India, as the. subject of the present 
inquiry, as I believe that the peculiarly favourable 
opportunities of local investigation which I enjoyed 
during a long career in India, will enable me to 
determine with absolute certainty the sites of many 
of the most important places in India. 

My chief guides for the period which I have 
undertaken to illustrate, are the campaigns of 
Alexander in the fourth century before Christ, and 
the travels of the Chinese pilgrim. Hwen Thsang. 
in the seventh century after Christ. The pilgrimage 
of this Chinese priest forms an epoch of as much 
interest and importance for the Ancient History and 
Geography of India, as the expedition of Alexander 
the Great. The actual campaigns of the 
Macedonian congucror were confined to the valley 



of ihc Indus and its tributaries; but the information 
collected by himself and his companions, and by the 
subsequent embassies and expeditions of the 
Seleukide kings of Syria, embraced the whole 
valley of the Ganges on the north, the eastern and 
western coasts of the peninsula, and some scattered 
notices of the interior of the country. This infor- 
mation was considerably extended by the systematic 
inquiries of Ptolemy, whose account is the more 
valuable, ns it belongs to a period just midway* 
between the date of Alexander and that of Hwcn 
ITsang, at which time the greater part of North- 
west India had been subjected by the Irido-Scylhians. 

With Ptolemy, we lose the last of our great 
classical authorities; and, until lately, we were left 
almost entirely to our own judgment in connecting 
and arranging the various geographical fragments 
that lie buried in ancient inscriptions, or half hidden 
in the vague obscurity of the Puranas. But the 
fortunate discovery of the travels of several Chinese 
pilgrims in the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries 
of the Christian era. has thrown such a flood of light 
upon this hitherto dark period, that we arc now able 
to see our way clearly to the general arrangement of 
most of the scattered fragments of the Ancient 
Geography of India. 

* Campaign of Alexander. B.C. 330. and Ptolemy’s 
Geography,’ *.D. 150, or 480 years later. Beginning of 
Hwen Thsang’s travel* in India, A.D. 630. or just 480 years 
after Ptolemy. 



The Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hian was a Buddhist 
priest, who travelled through India from the banks 
of the Upper Indus to the mouth of the Ganges. 
!>etween the years 399 and 413 A.D. Unfortunately 
his journal is very concise, and is chiefly taken up 
with the description of the sacred s|>ots and objects 
of his religion, but as he usually gives the bearings 
and distances of the chief places in his route, his 
short notices are very valuable. The travels of the 
second Chinese pilgrim. Sung-Yun, belong to the 
year 502 A.D.. but as they were confined to 
the Kabul valley and North-west Panjab, they are 
of much less importance, more especially as his 
journal is particularly meagre in geographical 

The third Chinese pilgrim. Hwen Thsnng. 
was also a Buddhist priest, who spent nearly fifteen 
years of his life in India in studying the famous 
books of his religion, and in visiting all the holy 
places of Buddhism. For the translation of his 
travels we arc wholly indebted to M. Stanislas 
Julien, who with unwearied resolution devoted his 
great abilities for no less than twenty years to the 
acquirement of the Sanskrit and Chinese languages 
for this special purpose. t The period of Hwen 
Thsang’s travels extended from A.D. 629 to 645. 

• The travels of both of these pilgrims have been 
most carefully and ably translated by the Rev. S. Beal 
t Max Muller’s 'Buddhism and Buddhist Pilgrims.' 
p. JO. 




During that rime he visited most of the great cities 
throughout the country, from Kabul and Kashmir 
to the mouths of the Ganges and Indus, and from 
Nepal to Kanchipura near Madras. The pilgrim 
entered Kabul from the north-west, via Bamian. 
about the end of May. A.D. 630. and after many 
wanderings and several long halts, crossed the 
Indus at Ohind in April of the following year. He 
spent several months in Taxila for the purpose of 
visiting the holy places of Buddhism, and then 
proceeded to Kashmir, where he stayed for 
two whole years to study some of the more learned 
works of his religion. On his journey eastward he 
visited the ruins of Sangala, so famous in the history 
of Alexander, and after a stay of fourteen months in 
Chinapati, and of four months in Jalandhara. for 
the further study of his religion he crossed the Satlej 
in the autumn of A.D. 635. From thence his onward 
course was more devious, as several times he 
retraced his steps to visit places which had been left 
behind ir. his direct easterly route. Thus, after 
having reached Mathura he returned to the north- 
west, a distance of 200 miles to Thdncsu'ai. from 
whence he resumed his easterly route via Srughna 
on the Jumna, and Gangadwara on the Ganges to 
Ahichhafra. the capital of Northern Panchala, or 
Rohilkhnnd. He next recrossed the Ganges to visit 
the celebrated cities of Sanlfisa, Kar.oj. and Koiambi 
in the Doab, and then turning northward into Oudh 
he paid his devotions at the holy places of Ayodhya 
and SraVasti. From thence he resumed his easterly 

PREFACE lxvii 

route to visit the scenes of Buddha's birth and death 
at Kapilavaslu and Kusinagara ; and then opce more 
returned lo the westward to the holy city of Banarat, 
where Buddha first began to teach bis religion. 
Again resuming bis easterly route he visited the 
famous city of Vahali in Tirhut. from whence he 
made an (recursion to Nepal, and then retracing his 
steps to Vaisali he crossed the Ganges to the ancient 
city of Palalipulra, or Palibothra. From thence he 
proceeded to pay his devotions at the numerous holy 
places around Gaya, from the sacred fig-tree at Bodh 
Gaya, under which Buddha sat for five years in 
mental abstraction, to the craggy hill of Giriyck. 
where Buddha explained his religious views lo the 
god Indra. He next visited the ancient cities of 
Ktisagurapura and Rajagriha, the early capitals of 
Magadha, and the great monastery of Nalanda, the 
most famous scat of Buddhist learning throughout 
India, where he halted for fifteen months to study 
the Sanskrit language. Towards the end of A.D. 
638 he resumed his easterly route, following the 
course of the Ganges to Modagiri and Champa, and 
then crossing the river to the north he visited Paundra 
Varddhana, or Pubna, and Kamarupa, or Assam. 

Having now reached the most easterly district 
of India he turned towards the south, and passing 
through Samalala, or Jessore. and Tamralipli. or 
Tamluk, he reached Odra, or Orissa, early in 
A.D. 639. Continuing his southerly route he visited 
Gartjant and Kalinga, and then turning to the north- 
west he reached Kosala, or Berar. in the very heart 



of (lie peninsula. Then resuming his southerly 
course lif passed through Andhra, or Telingana to 
Dhanal(al(ala, or Amaravati on the Kistna river, 
where he spent many months in the study of 
Buddhist literature. Leaving this place early in 
A.D. 640 he pursued his southerly course to Kanchi- 
pura. or Conjevernm. the capital of Draoida, where 
his further progress in that direction was stopped by 
the intelligence that Ceylon was then in a very 
troubled state consequent on the recent death of the 
king. This statement is specially valuable for the 
purpose of verifying the dates of the pilgrim's arrival 
at different places, which I have calculated according 
to the actual distances travelled and the stated dura- 
tion of his halts.* Now the troubled state of Ceylon 
followed immediately after the death of Raja Btina- 
Mu-galan, who was defeated and killed in A.D. 639; 
and it is only reasonable to infer that the Ceylonese 
monks, whom the pilgrim met at Kanchipura, must 
have left their country at once, and have reached 
that place early in A.D. 640, which accords exactly 
with my calculation of the traveller's movements. 

From Dravida Hwen Thsnng turned his steps 
to the north, and passing through Konleana and Ma- 
harashtra arrived at Bharoch on the Narbada, from 
whence, after visiting Ujain and Balabhi and several 
smaller states, he reached Sindh and Multan towards 
the end of A.D. 641. He then suddenly returned to 

• See Appendix A for the Qironolotty of 1 1 Wen 
Huang's Travels. 



Magadha, to the great monasteries of Nalanda and 
Tiladha^a. where he remained for two months for 
the solution of some religious doubts by a famouj 
Buddhist teacher named I’rajnabhadra. He next 
paid a second visit to Kiimrup, or Assam, where he 
halted for a month. Early in A.D. 643 he was once 
more at Patalipuha, where he joined the camp of the 
great king Harsha Varddhana, or Siladitya, the 
paramount sovereign of northern India, who was 
then attended by eighteen tributary princes, for the 
purpose of adding dignity to the solemn perform- 
ance of the rites of the Quinquennial Assembly, 
lire pilgrim marched in the train of this great king 
front Patalipuha through PraySga and Kosambi to 
Kanoj. He gives a minute description of the reli- 
gious festivals that were held at these places, which 
is specially interesting for the light which it throws 
on the public performance of the Buddhist religion 
at that particular period. At Kanoj he took leave 
of Harsha Varddhana. and resumed his route to 
the north-west in company with Raja Udhita of 
Jalandhara, at whose capital he halted for one 
month. In this i>art of his journey his progress 
v/as necessarily slow, as he had collected many 
statues and a large number of religious books, 
which he carried with him on baggage elephants.* 
Fifty of his manuscripts were lost on crossing over 
the Indus at Vtabharula, or Ohind. ITic pilgrim 
himself forded the river on an elephant, a feat 

• M. JuW» 'Hiouen TWig.’ i. 262. 263. 



which can only he performed during the months of 
December. January and February, before the stream 
begins to rise from .he melted snows. According 
to my calculations, he crossed the Indus towards the 
end of A.D. 643. At Utakharula he halted for fifty 
days to obtain fresh copies of the manuscripts which 
had been lost in the Indus, and then proceeded to 
Lamghan in company with the King of Kapisa. As 
one month was occupied in this journey, he could 
not have reached Lamghan until the middle of 
March, A.D. 644, or about three months before the 
usual period, when the passes of the Hindu Kush 
become practicable. This fact is sufficient to account 
for bis sudden journey of fifteen days to the south 
to the district of Falana, or Banu, from whence he 
reached Kapisa via Kabul and Ghazni about the 
beginning of July. Here he again halted to take 
part in a religious assembly, so that he could not 
have left Kapisa unt'l about the middle of July 
A.D. 644, or just fourteen years after hi9 first entry 
into India from Bam i an. From Kapisa he passed 
up the Panjshir valley and over the Khawak Pass 
to Anderab. where he must have arrived about the 
end of July. It was still early for the easy crossing 
of this snowy pass, and the pilgrim accordingly 
notices the frozen streams and beds of ice which he 
encountered on his passage over the mountain. To- 
wards the end of the year he passed through Kash- 
gar. Yarkard, and Kotan, and at last, in the spring 
of A.D. 643, he arrived in safety in the western 
capital of China. 



This rapid survey of Hwen Thsang's route is 
sufficient to show the great extent and completeness 
of his Indian travels, which, as far as I am aware! 
have never been surpassed. Buchanan Hamilton's 
survey of the country was much more minute, but 
it was limiter! to the lower provinces of the Ganges 
in northern India and to the district of Mysore in 
southern India. Jacqucmont’s travels were much 
less restricted; but as that sagacious Frenchman's 
observations were chiefly confined to geology and 
botany and other scientific subjects, his joumeyings 
in India have added but little to our knowledge of its 
geography. My own travels also have been very 
extensive throughout the length and breadth of 
northern India, from Peshawar and Multan near the 
Indus, to Rangoon and Promc on the Irawadi, and 
from Kashmir and Ladak to the mouth of the Indus 
and the banks of the Narbada. Of southern India 
I have seen nothing, and of western India 1 have 
seen only Bombay, with the celebrated caves of 
Elcphanta and Kanhari. But during a long service 
of more than thirty years in India, its early history 
and geography have formed the chief study of my 
leisure hours; while for the last four years of my 
residence these subjects were my sole occupation, 
as 1 was then employed by the Government of India 
as Arch-eologicnl Surveyor, to examine and report 
upon the antiquities of the country. The favourable 
opportunity which I thus enjoyed for studying its 
geography was used to the best of rny ability 1 ; and 
although much still remains to l*e discovered I am 



glad to be able to say that my researches were 
signally successful in fixing the sites of many of the 
most famous cities of ancient India. As nil of these 
will Im; described in the following account, I will 
notice here only a few of the more prominent of my 
discoveries, for the purpose of showing that 1 have 
not undertaken the present work without much 
previous preparation. 

1. Aomos. the famous rock fort captured by 
Alexander the Great. 

2. Taxila, the capital of the north-western 

3. Sangala, the hill fortress in the central 
Panjab. captured by Alexander. 

4. Srughna, a famous city on the Jumna. 

5. Ahichhatra, the capital of northern 

6. Bairal, the capital of Matsya, to the south 
of Delhi. 

7. Sankisa. near Kanoj, famous as the place 
of Buddha’s descent from heaven. 

8. SraOasli, on the Rapti. famous for Buddha s 

9. Kosambi, on the Jumna, near Allahabad. 

10. PadmaOali, of the poet Bhavabhuti. 

I I. Vaisali. to the north of Patna. 

12. Nalanda, the most famous Buddhist 
monastery in all India. 





From the accounts of the Greeks it would appear 
that the ancient Indians had a very accurate know- 
ledge of the true shape and size of their country. 
According to Strabo,* Alexander “caused the whole 
country to be described by men well acquainted with 
it and this account was afterwards lent to Patroklcs 
by Xcnoklcs. the treasurer of the Syrian kings. 
Patroklcs himself held the government of the north- 
east satrapies of the Syrian empire under 
Srl< ukus Nikator and Antiochus Soter, and the 
information which he collected regarding India and 
the Eastern provinces, has received the approbation 
of Eratosthenes and Strabo for its accuracy. Another 
account of India was derived from the register of 
the Stathmij or "Marches" from place to place, 
which was prepared by the Macedonian Amyntas, 
and which was confirmed by the testimony of 

• Geographis, ii. | # 6. 

t Strabo, x. I, II. I He name of the author of the 
‘Stathmi’ i* preserver! by Athenirua. i. 103- The origin*! 
measurement* were most probably mode by Diocnetus 
and Boiton. whose duty it was to ascertain the distances 
and length* of Alexander s expeditions, bee Plin. Hist. 
Nat., vi. 21. 



Mcgasthcnes, who had actually visited Palibothra 
as the ambassador of Sclcukus Nikator. On the 
authority of these documents, Eratosthenes and 
other writers have described India as a rhomboid . 
or unequal quadrilateral, in shape, 'with the Indus 
on the west, the mountains on the north, and the 
sea on the cast and south.* The shortest side was 
on the west, which Pntroklcs estimated at 12.000 
stadia, and Eratosthenes at 13,000 stadia.f All 
the accounts agree that the course of the Indus from 
Alexander's Bridge to the sea was 10,000 stadia, or 
I 149 British miles: and they differ only as to tin 
estimated distance of the snowy mountains of 
Caucasus or Paropamisus above the bridge. The 
length of the country was reckoned from west to 
east, of which the part extending from the Indus to 
Palibothra had been measured by schami along the 
royal road, and was 10.000 stadia, or 1 149 British 
miles in length. From Palibothra to the sen the 
distance was estimated at 6000 stadia, or 689 British 
miles; thus making the whole distance from the 
Indus to the mouth of the Ganges 16,000 stadia . % 
or 1838 British miles. According to Pliny .§ the 
distance of Palibothra from the mouth of the 

* Strabo, ii. 1.31. and XV. 1,11. Sec. also. Diodorus. 
Hist.. ii. 3. and Dion Perieg. V. 1131. Compare fig. I in 
the accompanying platr of *mall map*. 

t Strabo. XV. 2. 8. Arrian. 'Indies.* iii. 

t Artemidoru* makes it 16.860 stadia, or 2100 Roman 
miles. See Pliny, vi. 22. 

SPlin. Hist. Nat., vi. 21. 



Ganges was only 637.3 Roman miles; but his 
numbers are so corrupt that very little <V*pendencc 
con be placed upon them. | would, therefore, 
increase his distance to 737.3 Roman miles, which 
arc equal to 678 British miles. The eastern coast 
from the mouth of the Gauges to Cape Comorin 
was reckoned at 16,000 stadia, or 1838 British 
miles; and the southern (or south-western) coast, 
from Cape Comorin to the month of the Indus at 
3.(XX) stadia more* than the northern side, or 
19.000 stadia, equivalent to 2183 British miles. 

riie close agreement of these dimensions, given 
by Alexander's informants, with the actual size of 
the country is very remarkable. and shows that the 
Indians, even at that early date- in their history, had 
a very aci urate knowledge of the form and extent 
of their native land. 

On the west, the course of the Indus from 
Ohind. above Attuk. to the sea is 930 miles by land, 
or about 1200 miles by water. On the north, the 
distance from the banks of the Indus to Patna, by 
our military- route books, is 1143 miles, or only 6 
miles less than the measurement of the royal road 
from the Indus to Palibothra, as given by Strabo on 
the authority of Megnsthcncs. Beyond this, the 
distance was estimated by the voyages of vessels on 
the Ganges at 6000 stadia, or 689 British miles. 

“Strabo, XV. I. II. "Each ol the greater sides 
exceeding the opposite by 3000 stadia. " (Falconer's 



which is only 9 miles in excess of the actual length 
of the liver route. From the mouth of the Ganges 
to Cape Comorin the distance, measured on the map. 
is 1600 miles, hut taking into account the numerous 
indentations of the coast-line, the length should 
probably be increased in the same proportion as road 
distance by one-sixth. This would make the actual 
length 1866 miles. From Cape Comorin to the 
mouth of the Indus there is a considerable discre- 
pancy of about 3000 stadia, or nearly 330 miles, 
between the stated distance and the actual measure- 
ment on the map. It is probable that the difference 
was caused by including in the estimate the deep 
indentations of the two great gulf* of Khambay and 
Kachh, which alone would l>e sufficient to account 
for the whole, or at least the greater part, of the 

This explanation would seem to lie confirmed 
by the computations of Megasthenes. who ‘ “estimated 
the distance from the southern sea to the Caucasus 
at 20,000 stadia,"* or 2298 British miles. By direct 
measurement on the map the distance from Cape 
Comorin to the Hindu Kush is about 1930 miles.t 
which, converted into road distance by the addition 
of one>sixth. is equal to 2273 miles, or within a few 

•Strabo, xv. I. 12. 

t Elphinstone. Hist, of India, Introd. p. I, estimate* 
the distance from Kashmir to Cape Comorin at about 1900 
milei. The Caucasus is at least 50 miles to the north of 



miles of the computation of Mcgasthencs. But as 
this distance is only 1000 stadia greater than the 
length of the coast-line from Cape Comorin to the 
mouth of the Indus, as stated by Strabo, it seems 
certain that there must be some mistake in tbe length 
assigned to the southern (or south-western) coast. 
The error would lie fully corrected by making the 
two coast-lines of equal length, as the mouths of 
the Ganges and Indus are about equidistant from 
Cape Comorin. According to this view, the whole 
circuit of India would be 61.000 stadia; and this is. 
perhaps, what is intended by Diodorus,* who says 
that "the whole extent of India from cost to west is 
28.000 stadia, and from north to south 32.000 
stadia." or 60.000 stadia altogether. 

At a somewhat later date the shape of India is 
described in the 'Mahobliarat' as an equilateral 
triangle, which was divided into four smaller equal 
triangles. t The apex of the triangle is Cape 
Comorin, and the base is formed by the line of the 
Himalaya mountains. No dimensions arc given, 
and no places are mentioned; but, in fig. 2 of the 
small maps of India in the accompanying plate. I 
have drawn a small equilateral triangle on the line 
between Dwaraka. in Gujarat, and Ganjam on the 
eastern coast. By repeating this small triangle on 

* Diodorus. Hist., ii. 3. 

t Journ. Asiat. Soe. Bengal, xx. Wilford. quoting the 
Bhishma Parva of the 'Mahabhnraln.* as communicated 
to him’ by Colebrooke. 



each of its three sides, to the north-west, to the north- 
east, and to the south, we obtain the four divisions of 
India in one large equilateral triangle. Hie shape 
corresponds very well with the general form of the 
country, if wr extend the limits of India to Ghazni 
on the north-west, and fix the other two points of the 
triangle at Cape Comorin, and Sadiya in Assam. 
At the presumed date of the composition of the 
Wlahabharata/ in the first century A.D., the 
countries immediately to the west of the Indus 
Ixdonged to the I ndo -Scythians, and therefore may 
be included very properly within the actual bourn 
claries of India. 

Another description of India is that of the Nava- 
Khan da, or Nine-Divisions, which is first described 
by the astronomers Pariisara and Varaha-Mihira, 
although it was probably older than their time,* 
and was afterwards adopted by the authors of several 
of the Puranas. According to this arrangement. 
Panchala was the chief district of the central division, 
M a gad ha of the cast, Kalinga of the south-east, 
A Vania of the south, Anarta of the south-west. 
SindliU’Sau oira of the west, / Idrahaura of the north- 
west, Madra of the north, and Kaunmda of the 

Dr. Kern, in preface to the BnhntSanhita of 
VariUia*Mihira. p. 32. **ittc* tlmt Varahn‘5 chapter on 
Geography is taken almost intact, but changed in form, 
from the Paraftaratantra.’ and muat. therefore, be consi- 
dered as representing the geography of Para*aia. or 
perhaps yet more ancient works, “and not as. the actual 
map ol India in Varaha-Mihira * time.*’ 



north-easi.* Bui then- is a discrepancy between 
ihis epitome of Varnha and his details, as Sintlhu- 
Satwira is there assigned to the south-west. «lon£ 
with Anarta f rhis mistake is certainly as old as 
the eleventh century, as Abu Rilum has preserved 
'hr names of Varaha'a abstract in the same order a* 
they now aland in the ‘Brihat-SanhitS.'t These 
details arc also supported by the ‘Markandeyi 
Puranfi, which assigns both Sirulhu-Saucira ami 
Anarta to the south- west. § 

I have compared the detailed lists of the ‘Brihat- 
Sanhita* with those of the Brahnianda, Marlcandeya. 
Vishnu. Vayu. and Matsya PurAna.s ; and I find that, 
although there nrr sundry repetitions and displace- 
ments ol names, as well .is many various readings, 
yet all the lists are substantially the same.|| Some 

* ‘Bnhat-Sanhit*/ eh *iv 32. 33. 

f Ibid., xiv 17.— 

Naifrityam c iiai desd 

PahUtoa K&mboia Sirtdhu-Sauvira — 

Wilford has given VarSha** list in vo|. viii. p. 341. of 
Bengal Asia* Researches . mi he has made two divisions 
of Sirid/iuSaui?iV«?. and omitted Kaiminda. His details, 
however, agree with the *Brihftt-Sanhita/ in assigning 
*Sirufhu .Souc/ru M well as A naria to the south west 

I The Nine Divisions of Abu Rihan are given in 
Remaud** ‘Memoire sur I pp. 116. 117. Compare 
No II. Map. fig. 3. 

§ Ward's Hindus/ iii 10. 

|1 The list of the Hrahmanda is given by Wilford in 
Bengal Asiat. Researches, viii. 334. — that of the Vishnu 
Parana in Wilson** translation, where, also, will he found 


of them, however, arc differently arranged. All of 
the Puranas, lor instance, mention the Nine Divisions 
ifi id give their names, but only the Brahmanda and 
Markandeya state the names of the districts in each 
of the Nine Divisions; as the Vishnu. Vayu. and 
Matsya Puranas agree with the 'Malmhharata* in 
describing only five Divisions in detail, namely, the 
middle Province and those of the four cardinal points. 

The names of the Nine Divisions given in the 
‘Mahabharata* and the Puranas differ entirely from 
those of VarSha-Mihira : but they agree with those 
of the famous astronomer Bhaskaracharyn.* They 
follow the same order in all ; namely. Inclra. Kascru - 
mat . Tamraparna. Gabhastimat . Kumaril^a, Naga , 
Saumya Varuna . Gandharva. No due is given to 
the identification of these names, but they certainly 
follow a different order from that of Varaha’s Nine 
Divisions, as Indra is the east, Varuna the west, and 
Kumarika the middle, while Kaseru must be the 
north, as the name is found in the detailed lists of 
the Vayu and Brahmanda Puranas. 

The division of India into five great provinces 
would appear to have been the most popular one 
during the early centuries of the Christian era. as it 
was adopted by the Chinese pilgrims, and from them 
by all Chinese writers According to the Vishnu 

the liu of the ‘Mahabh&rata that o( the Markandcya 
Purana t* in Ward'* ’Hindus.’ iii. 9. 

• ‘Siddhonta Siromani,' chap. iii. 41. 



Purana.* the centre was occupied by the Kurus and 
Panchalas; in the east was Kamarupa . or Assam ; 
in the south were the Pundtas, Kalingas, and 
Magadhas ; in the west were the Surashtras , Suras , 
Abhlros, ArbuJas , Kannhas # Malavos . Sauoiras , 
and Saindhai'as ; and in the north the Hunt is, 
Salwas, Sakalas, Ramos, Ambashlas , and Parastl^a *. 

In the Geography of Ptolemy the true shape 
of India is completely distorted, and its most 
striking feature, the acute angle formed by the 
meeting of the two coasts of the Peninsula at Cape 
Comorin is changed to a single coast-line, running 
almost straight from the mouth of the Indus to the 
mouth of the Ganges. The cause of this mistake is 
partly due to the erroneous value of 500, instead of 
600. Olympic stadia, which Ptolemy assigned to an 
equatorial degree, partly to an over-estimate in con- 
verting road-distance into map-measurement, but 
chiefly to the excess which he allowed for the distan- 
ces of land journeys over those of sea voyages. f 

• Wilton's ‘Vishnu Purana.* edited by Hull. vol. ii. 
b. iii. c. 3. p 132. The north Division ts not mentioned 
in the text ; but as the Ilonas and Sdfci/oa certainly 
belonged to the north. I presume that the north has been 
accidentally omitted. I here is a similar omission o ( the 
name of Kumari^a in this Purina. which has only eight 
nam« for the Nine Divisions. 

t The question of Ptolemy's erroneous longitude* is 
treated at length in Appendix C, where I have given ail 
the data on which Sir Henry Rawlinaon hw founded hi* 



l( the measures of distance by sea had been 
increased In the same proportion, or had been esti- 
mated iir the same value, ns the measures of distance 
by land, all the places would have retained the Same 
relative positions. But the consequence of Ptolemy $ 
unequal estimate of the value of land and sea dis- 
tances was to throw all the places determined by 
land measurement too fnr to the east ; and as this 
error went on increasing the further he advanced, 
his eastern geography is completely vitiated by it. 
Thus Taxi la, which is almost due north of Barygaza. 
Ls placed 1 1 to the east of it ; and the mouth ol iht 
Ganges, which was fixed by land-measurement from 
Taxila and Palibothra, is placed J8 to the east of 
the mouth of the Indus, the true difference being 
only 20". In fig. 4 of the accompanying plate of 
small maps 1 have given an outline of Ptolemy’s 
‘Geography of India.* By referring to this it will 
be seen at a glance that, it the distance between the 
mouths of the Indus and Ganges were reduced Irom 
JR to 20 , the point of Cape Comorin would be 
thrown far to the south, and would form an acute 
angle very nearly in its true position. The amount 
of error in Ptolemy’s value of land distances is well 
shown in the difference of longitude between 1 axila 
and Palibothra. The former he places in I2”> and 
the latter in 143*. the difference being 18 , which 
is nearly one-third too much, as the actual difference 

correction of three-tenth* of the RCOiTTaphcr‘& distances in 



between Shah-Dheri in 72' 53 and Patna in 65' 17' 
is only 1 2 ’ 24'. By applying the correction ol 
three-tenths, .is proposed by Sir Henry Rawlinson. 
Ptolemy’s 18 will lx- reduced lo 12° 36’. which is 
within 12 of the true difference of longitude. 

India was first known to the Chinese in the time 
of the Emperor Wuti, of the later Han dynasty, in 
the second century before Christ. * li was then 
called Yuan-lu or Yin-lu, that is Hindu, and Shin 
lu. or Sindhu. At a later date it was named Thian- 
/u;t and this is the form which the historian Mat- 
wanlin has adopted. In the official records of th. 
Thang dynasty in the seventh century. India is 
described as consisting of “Five Divisions." called 
the East. West. North. South, and Central, which 
are usually styled the "Five Indies " I have not 
been able to discover when this system of the "Five 
Divisions" was first adopted; hut the earliest notice 
of it that I can find is in the year 477 A.D..J when 
the king of Western India sent an ambassador to 
China, and again only a few years later, in A.D. 303 
and 504. when the kings of Northern and Southern 
India are mentioned as having followed his 
example. § No divisions are alluded to in any of 
the earlier Chinese notices of India : but the different 
provinces are described by name, and not l>v posi- 

* See VI. Pouthiei's trandations from Chinese in the 
'Journal Asiatique.' Oct. 1839. p. 257. 

t Ibid. Nov. 18)9. p 384 

* Ibid. Nov. 1839. p. 291. 

§ Ibid. Nov. 1839, pp. 290-292. 



lion. Thu* we have mention of Yue-gai, king of 
Kapila, in A.D. 428. and of the king of Gnndhara 
in A. I). 4 t O.* Il would appear also that previous 
to this time India was sometimes called Magatlha , 
of ter the name of its best known and richest province ; 
and sometimes the “kingdom of Brahman $, after 
the name of its principal inhabitants. f The first of 
these names I would refer to the second and third 
centuries after Christ, when the powerful Guptas of 
Magadha ruled over the greater part of India. 

The same division of five great provinces was 
adopted by the Chinese pilgrim Hwen l^sang in 
the Seventh century, who names them in the same 
manner, as North. South, East. West, and Central, 
according to their relative positions.}! He compares 
the shape of the country to a half-moon, with the 
diameter or broad side to the north, and the narrow 
end to the south. This is not unlike the configura- 
tion of India in Ptolemy’s Geography: but a much 
more accurate description is given by the Chinese 
author of the Fa/i-/<ai-/r7i-/o, who says, “this country 
in shape is narrow towards the south and broad 
towards the north;" to which he humorously adds, 

• Paixthicr, in Journ. Asifltique. Oct. 1839, p. 273. 
and )oum. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1837, p. 65. 

i M. Julian's Tliouen Thsang,* ii. 58; and Pnuthier. 
in Journ. Asialique. Dec. 1839. p. -147. 

Z M. Julien*» ’Hioucn Thsang/ ii. 162, 163 ; ace also 
Pauthier. in Journ. Asiatique. 1839. p 384. 


that "the people’s faces are the same shape as the 

Hwen 111 Sang makes the circumference of IndiS 
90,000 /i.f which is more than double the truth. But 
in the Chinese official records, J the circuit of India 
is said to be only 30,000 li; which is too small, if 
we reckon 6 U to the British mile, according to the 
usual road distance of the Chinese pilgrims. But 
if, as was probably the case, the measurement was 
made on a map, the li may be reckoned at the full 
value of 1079.12 feet which it possessed in the eighth 
century; then the 30,000 li will be equal to 6130 
British miles, which is only 764 miles short of the 
dimensions recorded by Strabo on the authority of 
Alexander’s papers, and the published works of 
Mcgasthcnes and Patroklcs. 

The l ive Divisions of India, or the "Five 
Indies," as they are usually called by the Chinese, 
arc as follows (see No. I. Map); — 

I. Northern India comprised thr Pan jab proper, 
including Kashmir and the adjoining hill states, 
with the whole of eastern Afghanistan beyond the 
Indus, and the present Cis-Satlej States to the west 
of the Saraswati river. 

II. Western India comprised Sindh and Western 
Rajputana, with Kaehh and Gujarat, and a portion 

4 'Fnh-Hian's Travels,' translated by the Rev. S. 
Beal. p. 36. note. 

t M. Juien's 'Hioucn Thsan*:.’ ii. 56. 

I Pauthier. in Journ. A$i*tique. Nov 1839, p. 384 



ol the adjoining coast on the lower course of the 
Narbada river. 

III. Central India comprised the whole of the 
Gangetic provinces from Thanesar to the head of 
the Delta, and from the Himalaya mountains to the 
banks of the Narbada. 

IV. Eastern India comprised Assam and Bengal 
proper, inclu ding the whole of the Delta of the 
Ganges, together with Sambhalpur. Orissa, and 

V. Southern India comprised the whole of the 
Peninsula from Nasik on the west and Ganjam on 
the east, to Cape Kumari (Comorin) on the south, 
including the modern districts of Berar and lelin 
gana. Maharashtra and the Konkan. with the 
separate states of H.iidarabad. Mysore, and Travan- 
corc. or very nearly the whole of the peninsula to 
i he south of the Narbada and Mahanadi rivers 

Although the Chinese division of India into five 
great provinces is simpler than the well-known native 
arrangement of nine divisions, as described by 
Varaha-Mihira and the Puranas, yet there can be- 
little doubt that they borrowed their system from the 
I lindus. who likened their native country to the 
lotus-flower, the middle being Central India, and the 
eight surrounding petals being the other divisions, 
which were named after the eight chief points of the 
compass. * In the Chinese arrangement, the middle 

• Wilson’s ’Vishnu Puriina.’ edited by Hall, vol ii. 



amJ the four primary divisions only are retained ; 
and as this division is much simpler. and*aIso more 
easily remembered. I will adopt it in the present 

At the time of Hvven Thsang's visit, in the 
seventh century, India was divided into eighty* 
kingdoms, each of which would appear to have had 
its separate ruler, although most of them were tribu- 
tary to a few of the greater states. Thus, in Northern 
India, the districts of Kabul. Jalalabad. Peshawar, 
Ghazni, and Banu were all subject to the ruler of 
Kapisa. whose capital was most probably at Chari- 
kar. or Alexandria ad Caucasum. In the Panjab 
proper the hilly districts of Taxila. Singhapura, 
Urns... Punnch. and Rajaori, were suhjcct to the 
Raja of Kashmir : while the whole of the plains, 
including Multan and Shorkot, wore dependent on 
the ruler of fold. or Sangala. near Lnhor. In 
Western India the provinces were divided between 
the kings of Sindh. lialabhi, and Gurjjara. In 
Central and Eastern India, the whole of the different 
states, from the famous city of Sthaneswnra to the 
mouth of the Ganges, and from the Himalaya moun- 
tains to the banks of the Narbada and Mahanadi 

b. ii. c. 12. p. ttf) . "the lot in-shaped earth." Ward's 
’Hindu*." i. 9. and ii 449 

• Hioucn Hwang.' ii. 59. The text h»* "seventy” . 
but the numlx-r actually described i* eighty-two. from 
which, deducting Persia and Ceylon, the true nnmlier of 
kingdom.! ia eighty. 


rivers, were subject to Harsha Vardhana. the great 
King of .Kanoj. Jalandhnra. (he most easterly dis- 
trict of the Panjab, was also subject to him ; and it 
js highly probable that the ruler of T3l(i, or the plains 
of the Panjab. must likewise have been n dependent 
of Kanoj, ns we are informed by the Chinese pilgrim 
that Harsha Varddhana advanced through his terri- 
tory to the foot of the Kashmir hills, for the purpose 
of coercing the ruler of that country to deliver up 
to him a much -venerated tooth of Buddha. H»e 
Rajput king of .Maharashtra, in Southern India, was 
the only sovereign who had successfully resisted the 
armies of Kanoj. This statement of the Chinese 
pilgrim is corroborated by several inscriptions of the 
Chalukya princes of Maharashtra, who make a proud 
I >oast of their ancestor’s discomfiture of the great 
king Harsha Varddhana.* This powerful prince 
was the paramount sovereign of thirty-six different 
States, comprising nearly one-half of India in extent, 
and including all its ric hest and most fertile pro- 
vinces. The substantial reality of his power may 
be gathered from the fact that no less than eighteen, 
or just one-half, of these tributary princes attended 
on their suzerain lord during his great religious pro- 
cession from Pataliputra to Kanoj, in A.D. 643. The 
extent of his dominions is clearly indicated by the 
names of the countries against which he directed his 
latest campaigns, namely. Kashmir in the north- 

* See coppcr-platc inscription* in Joum, Bombay 
A*iAt. Soc. ii. 5, and iii. p. 207. 



west. Maharashtra in the south-west, and Ganjam 
in the south-east.* Within these boundaries he was 
the paramount ruler of the continent of India during 
the first half of the seventh century of the Christian 

The dominion of Southern India was nearly 
equally divided between the nine rulers of the 
following states:— Maharashtra and Kosala, in the 
north; Kalinga, Andhra. Konkana, and Dhanaka- 
kata, in the centre; and Jorya. Dravida, and Mala- 
kuta. in the south. These complete the round 
number of eighty kingdoms into which India was 
divided in the seventh century of our era. 


The natural boundaries of India are the 
Himalaya mountains, the river Indus and the sea. 
But on the west, these limits have been so frequently 
overstepped by powerful kings that most authors, 
from the time of Alexander down to a very late 
period, have considered Eastern Ariana. or the 
greater part of Afghanistan, as forming a portion :f 
the Indian continent. Thus Plinyf says that "most 
writers do rot fix the Indus as the western boundary 

* Julien's ’Mioucn Thsang.’ Kashmir. > 251 ; Maha- 
rashtra, iii. 150; Ganjam, i. 220, 256. 

t Plin. Hint. Nat., vi. 23. "Etcnim plcrique ab 
occidente non Indo amne determinant, wd adjiriunl 
quatuor satrapias. Gedrosoa. Aracholaj, Ario», Paroparni 
sada». ultimo fine Cophete fluvio." 



(of India), but add to it the four satrapies of the 
Gedrosi.. ArachotW, Arii, and Paropamisada:. — 
thus making the river Cophes its extreme boundary.’’ 
Strabo* also says that "the Indians occupy (in part) 
some of the countries situated along the Indus, which 
formerly belonged to the Persians. Alexander 
deprived the Ariani of them, and established there 
settlements of his own. But Seleukus Nikator gave 
them to Sandrokottus. in consequence of a marriage- 
contract. and received in return five hundred 
elephants.*’ Ihe prince here mentioned is the- well- 
known Chandra Gupta Maurya. whose grandson 
Asoka dis|»atchcd missionaries In the most distant 
parts of his empire for the propagation of Buddhism. 
Afouultla, or Alexandria ad Caucasum. the capital 
of the Vona. or Greek country, is recorded as one of 
these distant places ; and as the Chinese pilgrim Hwen 
Thsang notices several slupas in that neighbourhood 
as tire work of Asoka. we have the most satisfactory 
proofs of the Indian occupation of the Kabul valley 
in the third and fourth centuries before C-hrisl. Ihe 
completeness of this occupation is well shown by 
the use of the Indian language on the coins of the 
Baitrinn Greeks and Indo-Scythians. down to 

“Groin., xv. 1, 1 In another place, xv. I. II. he 
states that at the time of the inva>ion ol Alexander ’ the 
Indus wns the boundary of India and ol Aiinna, situated 
towards the west, and in the posM-snion of the Persians, for 
afterwards the Indians occupied <• larger portion of 
Ariana, which they had received ft out the Macedonians." 

lUPntNE 4 KC#tltr4t 

l\>i*T KABUL Wii*y 



A.l>. 100, or perhaps even later: and although it is 
lost lor the next two or three centuries, jt again 
makes its appearance Oil the coins of the Abtelites, 
or White Huns, of the sixth century. In the 
following century, ns wc lean; from the Chinese 
pilgrim, the king of Kapisa was a Kshalriya, or pure 
Hindu. During the whole of the tenth century the 
Kabul valley was held by a dynasty of Brahmans, 
whose power was not finally extinguished until 
towards the close of the reign ol Mahmud Ghaznavi. 
Down to this time, therefore, it would appear that 
a great part of the population of eastern Afgha- 
nistan. including the whole of the Kabul valley, 
must have been of Indian descent, while the religion 
was pure Buddhism. During the rule o( the Gha? 
navis, whose laic conversion to Muhammadan ism 
had only added bigotry to their native ferocity, the 
persecution of idol-loving Buddhists was a pleasure 
as well as a duly. Ilie idolaters were soon driven 
out. and witli them the Indian element, which had 
subsisted for so many centuries in Eastern Ariana. 
finally disappeared. 



For several ccntuncs, both before and alter the 
Christian era, the provinces ol Northern India beyond 
the Indus, in which the Indian language and religion 
were predominant, included the whole of Afgha- 
nistan from Bamian and Kandahar on the west to 



the Bholan Pass on the south. I his large tract was 
then divided into ten* separate states or districts, of 
•which Kapisn was the chief. The tributary states 
were Kabul and Ghazni in the west, Lamghan and 
lahslahad in the north, and Peshawar in the 
cast. Bolor in the north-cast, and Barui and Opckicn 
in the south. The general name for the whole 
would appear to have been Kac-fu. which in the 
second century before Christ is described as being 
divided between the Parthians, the Indians, and the 
Su or Sacic of Kipin. According to this statement, 
the south-west district of Kandahar would have 
belonged to the Parthians. the eastern districts ol 
Swat, Peshawar, and Banu. to the Indians, and the 
north-western districts of Kabul and Ghazni with 
Lamghan and Jalalabad to the Sacte Scythians. 
Kao/u has usually been identified with Kabul on 
account of its similarity of name and correspondent v 
of position; but this can only bo accepted ns politi- 
cally correct, by extending the boundaries of Kabul 
into Parthiaf on the west, and into India on the cas* 
lhe Koofu of the Chinese would, therefore, have 
embraced the whole of modem Afghanistan. 

M. Julirn % Hiouen I hsnng. i. 71. 

▼ That Kandahar then belonged to Persia i* proved 
by the fact, that the begging-pot of Buddha, which Hwen 
Thsang (i» 1061 mentions as having been removed from 
Gandharw to Persia, still exists nt Kandahar, where •! wa« 
recn by Sii H Rawlinson. The removal must have taken 
place during the sixth century, after the conquest 
of Candhftra by the king of Kipin. 



homologically, however, it seems quite possible 
lhal the two names may be the same, as Kaofu was 
the appellation of one of the five tribes of the Yuchi 
or Tochari, who arc said to have given their own 
name to the town which they occupied, towards the 
end of the second century Ix-forr Christ. This 
statement of the Chinese writers is confirmed by the 
historians of Alexander, who notice the city of 
Or to spann, without making any mention of Kabul. 
The latter name is first given by Ptolemy, who 
describes Kabura or Oriospana as the capital of the 
P firopnm isnd«t * . I conclude, therefore, that Ortas- 
pana was most probably the original metropolis of 
the country, which was supplanted by Alexandria 
during the Creek domination, and restored by the 
earlier Indo-Scythian princes. But it would appear 
to have been again abandoned before the seventh 
century, when the capital of Kapisene was at Opian. 


According to the Chinese pilgrim Kiapishc, or 
Kapisene. was 4000 /j. or about 666 miles in circuit. 
If this measurement In- even approximately correct, 
the district must have included the whole of Kafiris- 
tan. as well as the two large valleys of Ghorband 
and Panjshir. a9 these last .are together not more 
than 300 miles in circuit. Kiapishc is further des 
rribed as being entirely surrounded by mountains 
to the north by snowy mountains, named Po-Io-si-na, 
and by black hills on the other three sides. Hu 



name of Polosina corresponds exactly with that of 
Mount Parvsh or Aparasin of the ‘Zend A vesta/* 
ntnl with the Riropamisus of the Greeks, which 
included the Indian Caucasus, or Hindu Kush. 
Hwen I hsang further states, that to the north-west 
of the capital there was a great snowy mountain, 
with a lake on its summit. distant only 200 li. or 
about 33 miles. This is the Hindu Kush itself, 
which is about 35 miles to the north-west of Giari- 
kar and Opinn : but I have not been able to trace 
any mention of the lake in the few imperfect notices 
that exist of this part of Afghanistan. 

Tlie district of Capitate is first mentioned by 
Pliny, who states that its ancient capital, named 
tapis,.. was destroyed by Cyrus. His copyist. 
Soli mis, mentions the same story, but calls the city 
Caphusa, which the Ddphine editors have altered 
to Capissa, Somewhat later. Ptolemy places the 
town of Kapisa amongst the Paropamisadir 2/ 
degrees to the north of Kobura or Kabul, which is 
nearly 2 degrees in excess of the truth. On leaving 
Batman, in A.D. 630, the Chinese pilgrim travelled 
600 li. or about 100 miles, in an easterly direction 
over Snowy mountains and black hills (or the Koh-i- 
Baba and Paghman ranges) to the capital of Kiapishc 
or Kapisene. On his return from India, fourteen 
years later, he reached Kiapishc through Ghazni 

' 'Zend A vesta/ »ii. 365. Roundchesh. “It is said 
that Aparasin is a great mountain, distinct from Elbnrj. 
It is called Mount Pnrcsh " 



and Kabul, and left it in a north-cast direction by 
the Panjshir valley towards Anderab. Thqae state- 
ments fix the position of the capital at or near Opian? 
which is just 100 miles to the east of Bnmian by the 
route of the Hajiak Pass and Ghorhand Valley, and 
on the direct route from Ghazni and Kabul to 
Anderab. The same locality is, perhaps, even more 
decidedly indicated by the fact, that the Chinese 
pilgrim, on finally leaving the capital of Knpiscnc, 
was accompanied by the king as far as the town of 
Kiu-lu-sa-pang, a distance of one yojana, or about 
7 miles to the north-cast, from whence the road 
turned towards the north. fhis description agrees 
exactly with the direction of the route from Opian to 
the northern edge of the plain of BegfSm. which lies 
about 6 or 7 miles to the F-. N. E. of Charilcar and 
Opian. Bcgram itself I would identily wit W the 
Kiu lii'SQ pang or Karsaulana of the Chinese pilgrim, 
the Karsana of Ptolemy, and the Cortona of Pliny. 
If the capital had then been at Bcgram itself, the 
king's journey of seven miles to the north-cast would 
have taken him over the united stream of the 
Panjshir and Ghorband rivers, and as this stream *s 
difficult to cross, on account of its depth and rapidity, 
it is not likely that the king would have undertaken 
such a journey for the mere purpose of leave-taking. 
But by fixing the capital at Opian, and by identifying 
Bcgram with the Kiu-lu-sa-pang of the Chinese 
pilgrim, all difficulties disappear. The king accom- 
panied his honoured guest to the hank of the 
Panjshir river, where he took leave of him, and the 



pilgrim then crossed the stream, and proceeded on 
his journey to the north, as described in the account 
of his life. 

From all the evidence above noted it would 
appear certain that the capital of Kiapishc , or 
Kapisene , in the seventh century, must have been 
situated either at or near Opian . Hi is place was 
visited by Masson,* who describes it as “distin- 
guished by its huge artificial mounds, from which, at 
various times, copious antique treasures have been 
extracted.’* In another placet he notes that “it 
possesses many vestiges of antiquity; yet, as they 
arc exclusively of a sepulchral or religious character, 
the site of the city, to which they refer, may rather 
be looked for at the actual village of Malik Hupian 
on the plain below, and near Charikar.” Masson 
writes the name Hupian, following the emperor 
Baber ; but as it is entered in Walker’s large map as 
Opiyan, after Lieutenant l_each. and is spelt Opian 
by Lieutenant Sturt, both of whom made regular 
surveys of the Koh-daman, I adopt the unaspirated 
reading, as it agrees better wih the Greek forms of 
Opiai and Opiane of HekaUeus and Stephanus, and 
with the Latin form of Opianum of Pliny. As these 
names are intimately connected with that of the 
Paropamisan Alexandria, it will clear the way to 
further investigation, if we first determine the most 
probable site of this famous city. 

4 Travels/ iii. 126. 
t Travel* Ki 161. 



ITie position of the city founded by Alexander 
at the foot of the Indian Caucasus has Iong»cngaged 
the attention of scholars ; but the want of a good 
map of the Kabul valley lias been a serious obstacle 
to their success, which was rendered almost insur- 
mountable by their injudicious alterations of the only 
ancient texts that preserved the distinctive name of 
the Caucasian Alexandria. Hsus Stcphanus* des- 
cribes it as being «Y T«j *ard lip 'Itftinijt, "in 

Opiane, near India." for which Salmasius proposed 
to read Aw;}. Again, Plinyf describes it as 
Alexandrian i Opianes. which in the Leipsic and other 
editions is altered to A/cxandri oppidum. I believe, 
also, that the same distinctive name moy be restored 
to a corrupt passage of Pliny, where he is speaking 
of this very part of the country. His words, as 
given by the Lcipsic editor, and as quoted by 
Cellarius.J are "Cart.ina oppidum sub Caucaso, 
quod postea Tetragonis dictum. Hrec regio est ex 
adverso. Bactrianorum deinde cujus oppidum 
Alexandria, a conditorc dictum.” Both of the trans- 
lators whose works I possess, namely Philemon 
Holland. A.D. 1601. and W. T. Riley. A.D. 1855, 
agree in reading ex adoerso llaclrianorum. This 
makes sense of the words as they stand, but it 
makes nonsense of the passage, as it refers the city 

* In voce Alexandria. 

t Hut. Nat , vi. c. 17 Philemon Holland calls it "the 
city of Alexandria, in Opmmim." 

X Hi:t. Nat., vi 23. 



of Alexandria to Bactria, a district which Pliny had 
fully described in a previous chapter. He 'S 
speaking of the country at the foot of the Caucasus 
or ParopamisuB ; and os he had already described 
the Boctrians as being "aversa montis Pnropamisi, 
he now uses almost the same terms to describe the 
position of the district in which Cartana was 
situated: I would, therefore, propose to read "hrec 
regio est ex adverso Bactrire" : and os cujus cannot 
possibly refer to the Bactrians, I would begin the 
next sentence by changing the loiter half of Bactrian- 
orum in the text to Opiorum ; the passage would 
then stand thus. "Opiorum (regio) deinde. cujus 
oppidum Alexandria a conditore dictum.' — "Next 
the Opii. whose city, Alexandria, was named after 
its founder." But whether this emendation be 
accepted or not. it is quite clear from the other two 
passages, above quoted, that the city founded by 
Alexander at the foot of the Indian Caucasus was also 
named Opiane. I his fact being established. I will 
now proceed to show that the position of Alexandria 
Opiane agrees as nearly as possible with the site of 
the present Opian. near Charikar. 

According to Pliny, the city of Alexandria, in 
Opianum. was situated at 50 Roman miles, or 
45.% English miles, from Ortospana, and at 237 
Roman miles, or 217.8 English miles, from Peuco- 
laitis, or Pukkalaoti, which was a few miles to the 
north of Peshawar. As the position of Ortospana 
will be discussed in my account of the next provirce, 



I will here only stole that I have indenhfied it with 
the ancient city of Kabul and its citadel. *>e Bala 
Hisnr. Now Charikar is 27 miles* to the north of* 
Kabul, which differs by 19 miles from the measure- 
ment recorded by Pliny. But as immediately after 
the mention of this distance he adds that *'in some 
copies different numbers are found, "t 1 am inclined 
to read "triginta mi Ilia,” or 30 miles, instead of 
“quinquaginta millia/* which is found in the text. 
This would reduce the distance to 11 Vz English 
miles, which exactly accords with the measurement 
between Kabul and Opian. The distance between 
these places is not given by the Chinese pilgrim 
Hwcn Thsang; but that between the capital of 
Kiapishc and Pu-lu-sha-pu-lo , or Purushapura, the 
modern Peshawar, is stated at 600+1001-500 = 

I 200 li 9 or just 200 miles according to my estimate 
of 6 li to the English mile. The last distance of 
500 li, between Nagarahara and Purushawar. is 
certainly too short, as the earlier pilgrim. Fa Hian. 
in the beginning of the fifth century, makes it 16 
yojanas, or not less than 640 li 9 at 40 li to the 
yojana, This would increase the total distance to 
1340 li, or 223 miles, which differs only by 5 miles 
from the statement of the Roman author. The actual 

• Measured by Lieutenant Slurt with n perambulator. 
Masson gives the same distance for Degram. See No. Ill 
Map from Sturt’s Survey. 

t Hist. Nat., vi 21 *’ln quibusdam excmplarihu* 
diversi numeri rrpemintur." 


road distance between Qinrikar and Jalalabad Was 
not bc*-o ascertained, but ns it measures in a direct 
line on Walker's map about 10 miles more than the 
distance between Kabul and Jalalabad, which is 1 1 5 
miles. It may be estimated at 125 miles. This sum 
added lo 103 miles, the length of road between 
Jalalabad and Peshawar, makes the whole distance 
from Charikar to Peshawar not less than 228 miles, 
which agrees very closely with the measurements 
recorded by the Roman and Chinese authors. 

Pliny further describes Alexandria ns being 
situated sub ipso Caucato,* "at the very foot of 
Caucasus," which agrees exactly with the position 
of Opian, at the northern end of the plain of Koh 
iluman, or "hill-foot." ITie same position is noted 
by Curtius, who places Alexandria in radicibus 
moniij.t at the very base of the mountain. The 
place was chosen by Alexander on account of its 
favourable site at the or parting of the 

"three roads" leading to Bactria. These roads, 
which still remain unchanged, all separate at Opian. 
near Begrarn. 

1 . The north-east road, by the Panjabi r 

valley, and over the Khawak Pass !o 

2. Hie west road, by the Kushan valley. 

and over the Hindu Kush Pass to 

Hist Nat., vi. s. 21. 
J Strabo, xv. 2. 8. 

i Vit. Alex., vii. 3. 


3. The south-west road, up the Ghorband 
valley, and over the Hajiyak Pass to 

The first of these roads was followed by 
Alexander on his march into Bactriana from the 
territory of the Paropamisndrc. It was also taken 
by I iinur on his invasion of India : and it was 
crossed by Lieutenant Wood on his return from the 
sources of the Oxus. The second road must have 
been followed by Alexander on his return from 
Bactriana, as Strabo* specially mentions that he took 
"over the same mountains another and shorter road" 
than that by which he had advanced. It is certain 
that his return could not have been by the Bamian 
route, as lhat is the longest route of all ; besides 
which, it turns the Hindu Kush, and does not cross 
it. as Alexander is stated to have done. This route 
was attempted by Dr. Lord and Lieutenant Wood 
late in the year, bill they wer< driven back by the 
snow. fhc third road is the easiest and most fre- 
quented. It was taken by Jangher Khan after his 
capture of Bamian; it was followed by Moorcroft 
and Bumeg on their adventurous journeys to Balkh 
and Bokhara; it was traversed by Lord and Wood 
after their failure at the Kushan Pass; and it was 
surveyed by Sturt in A.D. Ifl40. after it had been 
successfully crossed by a troop of horse artillery. 

Alexandria is not found in Ptolemy's list of the 
towns of the Paropamisada: ; but as his Niphantla, 

* Gcogr., xv. I, 26. 



which is placed close to Kapisn. may with a very 
little alteration be read as Ophianda , I think that wo 
may jxrhaps recognize the Greek capital under this 
slightly altered form. The name of Opidn is 
certainly as old as the fifth century B.C., as Heka- 
tirus places a people called Opiai to the west of the 
upper course of the Indus. ITere is. however, no 
trace of this name in the inscriptions of Darius, but 
we have instead a nation called Thatagush , who are 
the .SaMagtre/m of Herodotus, and perhaps aU <i the 
people of Si-pi-to-fa-la-s$c of the Chinese pilgrim 
I (wen Hwang.* I his place was only 40 //, or about 
/ miles, distant ftom the capital of Kiapishe, hut 
unfortunately the direction is not stated. As, how- 
ever, it is noted that there was a mountain named 
Artina at a distance of 5 miles to the south, it is 
almost certain that this < ity must have been on the 
famous site of Begrarn. from which the north end of 
the cr Black Mountain, called Chchcl 

Dulfhtaran, or the Fortv Daughters, lies almost 
due south at n distance of i or 6 miles. It is possi- 
ble, also, that tin* name o! Idtarangzar, which 
Masson gives to the south west corner of the' ruins 
of Begram. may be an filtered form ot the ancient 
1 hatagush. or SatlagudQi. But whether this be so 
or not, it is qutc certain that the people dwelling on 
the upper branches o! the Kabul river must be the 
Thatogvsh of Darius, and the Salfagudai of Hero- 

* SipftofrdaStte is probably the Sanskrit Saptaiurvha 
ot SaUacata, whirh might easily he changed to Thnlngush. 



dolus, as all the other surrounding nations arc men- 
tioned in both authorities. 

Karsana, Kartana or Tetragonis. 

Hie passage of Pliny describing the position of 
Alexandria is prefaced by a few words regarding the 
town of Cartana, which, while they assign it a similar 
position at the foot of the Caucasus, seem also to 
refer it to the immediate vicinity of Alexander's city. 

I quote the whole passage, with the correction which 
I have already proposed — "Cartana oppidum sub 
Caucaso, quod postea Tetragonis dictum. H«c regio 
rat ex adverso Bactriic. Opiorum (regio) ileinde 
cujus oppidum Alexandria a conditore dictum. 
"At the foot of the Caucasus stands the town of 
Cartana, which was afterwards called Tetragonis (or 
the Square). litis district is opposite to Bactria. 
Next (to it) arc the Opii, whose city «>l Alexandria 
was named after its founder." Solinus makes no 
mention of Cartana. but Ptolemy lias a town named 
Karaana. or Kamasa. which he places on the right 
hank of a nameless river that conics from the vicinity 
of Kapisa and Niphanda (or Opian). and joins the 
river of Locharna, or Loh-garh, nearly opposite 
Nagara. This stream I take to be the united Panj- 
shir and Ghorband river, which joins the Lohgarh 
river about halfway between Kabul and Jalalabad. 
This identification is rendered nearly certain by the 
position assigned to the Lambalie, or people of Lam- 
paka or Larnghan, who are placed to the east of 

- His». Nat., vi. 23. 



the nameless river, which cannot therefore he the 
Kunar river, as might otherwise have been inferred 
•from its junction with the Lohgarh river opposite 

This being the case, the Kcrsana of Ptolemy 
may at once be identified with the Cartana of Pliny : 
and the few facts related by both authors may be 
combined to aid us in discovering its true position. 
According to Pliny, it was situated at the foot cl the 
Caucasus, and not far from Alexandria; whilst, 
according to Ptolemy, it was on the right bank of the 
Panjshir river. These data point to Begram. which 
is situated on the right bank of the united Pnnjshfr 
and Ghorhand rivers, immediately at the foot of the 
kohistan hills, and within 6 miles of Opian, or 
Alexandria Opiane. As I know of no other place 
that answers all these requirements, it seems most 
probable that Begram must be the true locality. 
Par wan and Kushan are ancient places of some 
consequence in the neighbourhood of Opian : but 
they arc both on the left bank of the Ghorband river, 
while the first is probably the liaborana of Ptolemy, 
and the other his Kapisa. Begram also answers the 
description which Pliny gives of Cartana, as Tetra~ 
gonrs, or the ‘Square* : for Masson, in his account 
of the ruins, specially notices "some mounds of 
great magnitude, and accurately describing a square 
of considerable dimensions.*'* 

• 'Travel*,* lii. 155. For the position of Begrarn ace 
No III Map. 


II I am right in identifying Begram with the 
Kiu-lu-sa-pang of the Chinese pilgrim, the tgue name 
of the place must have been Karsana, as written b? 
Ptolemy, and not Catlana. as noted by Pliny. The 
same form of the name is also found on a rare coin 
of Lukratides, with the legend Karistye nagara, or 
“city of Kariii,' which I have identified with the 
Kalasi of ihe Buddhist chronicles, ns the birthplace 
of Raja Milindu. In another passage of ihe sam~ 
chronicle,* Milindu is said to have been born at 
Alasanda, or Alexandria, the capital of the Yona, or 
Creek country. Kalasi must therefore hnve been 
either Alexandria itself or some place close to it- 
Hie latter conclusion agrees exactly with the position 
of Begram, which is only a few miles to the east of 
Opian. Originally two distinct places, like Delhi 
and Shah Jahanabad. or London and Westminster, 

I suppose Opian nod Karsana to have gradually 
approached each other as they increased in size, 
until at last they virtually became one large city. 
On the coins of the earlier Creek kings of Ariana, — 
Euthydcmus. Demetrius, and Eukrntides, — we find 
the monograms of both cities ; but after the time of 
Eukratidcs, that of Opiana disappears altogether, 
while that of Karsana is common to most of the later 
princes. The contemporary occurrence of these 
mint monograms proves that the two cities were 
existing at the same time; while the sudden disuse 

• Milindu-prasna. quoted by Hardy, in Manual of 
Buddhism,' pp. 440. 516 




of the name of Opian may serve to show that, during 
the lattci period of Greek occupation, the cily of 
Alexandria had been temporarily supplanted by 

The appellation of Begram means. I believe, 
nothing more than “the city" par excellence, as it is 
also applied to three other ancient sites in the imme- 
diate vicinity of great capitals, namely. Kabul, 
Jalalabad, and Peshawar. Masson derives the 
appellation from the T urki be or hi, “chief, and the 
Hindi gram, or city. — that is. the capital.* But .« 
more simple derivation would be from the Sanskrit 
Vi, implying “certainty." "ascertainment." as in 
vijaya, victory, which is only an emphatic form of 
jaya with the prefix Vi. Vigrama would therefore 
mean emphatically "the city" — that is. the capital: 
and BigrSm would be the Hindi form of the name, 
just as Bijay is the spoken form of Vijaya. 

The plain of Begram is bounded by the Panjshir 
and the Koh -daman rivers on the north and south ; 
by the Mahighir canal on the west ; and on the east 
by the lands of Julgha, in the fork of the two rivers. 
Its length, from Bayan. on the Mahighir canal, to 
lulgha. is about 8 miles; and its breadth, from Kilah 
Buland to Yuz Bashi. is 4 miles. Over the whole 
of this space vast numbers of relics have been dis- 
covered. consisting of small images, coins, seals, 
beads, rings, arrow-heads, fragments of pottery, and 

• Travel..- iii. 165. 



other remains, which prove that this plain was once 
the site of a great city. According to the traditions 
of the people. Beg ram was a Greek city, which was 
overwhelmed b}’ some natural catastrophe. - Masson 
doubts the tradition, and infers from the vast number 
of Kufic coins found there, that the city must have 
existed for some centuries after the Muhammadan 
invasion. I am inclined to think that Masson is 
right, and that the decline of the city was caused by 
the gradual desertion of the people, consequent on 
the transfer of the seat of government to Ghazni, 
after the conquest of the country by the Muham- 
madans. Coins of the la9t Hindu Rajas of Kabul 
and of ihe first Muhammadan kings of Ghazni are 
found in great numbers; but (he money of the later 
Ghaznavi princes is less plentiful, whilst of the 
succeeding Ghori dynasty only a few specimens of 
some of the earlier sovereigns have yet been dis- 
covered, From these plain facts, 1 infer that the 
city began gradually to decay after the Muham- 
madan conquest of Kabul by Sabuktugin. towards 
the end of the tenth century, and that it was finally 
deserted about the beginning of the thirteenth 
century. As the latter period corresponds with the 
date of Janghez Khan's invasion of these provinces, 
it is very possible, as Masson has already supposed, 
that Begram may have been finally destroyed by that 
merciless barbarian. 

• Masson, Travels.' iii. 159. 



Other Cities of Kapisenc. 

I will close this account of Knpisctie with some 
remarks on the few other cities of the same district 
that are mentioned by ancient authors. IMiny des 
. ribes one city ns "ad Caucaaum Gidrusi. oppidum 
nb Alexandra conditum." which is slightly altered 
by Solinus to “Cadrusin oppidum ab Alexandra 
Magnoad Caucasum constitutum cst. tibi ct Alcxnn 
dria. Both authors place the city close •” the 
Caucasus, to which Solinus adds, that it was also 
near Alexandria. Following these two distinct 
indications. I am disposed to identify the city o! 
Cadrusi with the old site of Koratds, which Masson 
discovered under the hills of Kohistan. 6 miles to 
the north-cast of Begram, and on the north bank of 
the Panjshir river. + There arc the usual remains ot 
an old city, consisting of mounds covered with 
fragments of pottery, amongst which old coins arc 
frequently found. There are also remains of 
masonry works about the hills, which the peoplr call 
Kafir kot. or the Kafir's fort The commentators 
haw an used Solinus of misunderstanding Pliny, 
whose Cadrusi, they sav. was the name of a people, 
and whose "oppidum ab Alexandra conditum" was 
the city of Alexandria.}; But the passage was 
differently understood by Philemon Holland, who 
renders it thus : -''Upon the hill Caucasus standeth 

♦ F'lin. Hiu. Nat., vi 25. Solin. Ivii. 
t Travels,’ iii. Itt. 

t Cellar ius. iii. 22 . p. 514. ’’quod Solinu. pervertit " 



ll><* town Cadrusi. built likewise by the said 
Alexander.” As a general rule, die Greeks would 
seem to have designated the various peoples whom* 
they encountered by the- names of their principal 
towns. Thus we have Kabura and the Kabolitec. 
Drepsa and th«- Drrpsiani. Taxila and the Tnxili, 
Kaspeira and the Kaspeirsej, from which I would 
infer, that there was most probably also a town 
named Gtdnisia, whose inhabitants were called 
Cadrusi. This inference is strengthened by the 
correspondence, both in name and in position of the 
ruined mound of Koratas. with the Cadrusi of Pliny. 

Phe names of other peoples and towns are 
recorded by Ptolemy ; but lew of them can now be 
identified, ns \vc have nothing to guide us but the 
bn re names. The, with their towns Parsia 
and Parxiana, I take to be the Pashais . or people of 
the Panjhir or Panjshir valley. The true name is 
probably Panchir . as the Arabs always write j for the 
Indian c/i. ITc modern spelling of Panjshir adopteJ 
by Burnes, Leech, and others, appears to be only 
an attempt to give the Afghan pronunciation of ch 
as ts in Pantsir . A town named Panjhir is men- 
tioned by the early Arab geographers, and a moun- 
tain named Pashai was crossed by Ibn Batuta. on 
his way from Kunduz to Parwan.* 

Other tribes are the A r istoph ylt , a pure Greek 
name, and the Ambautcc, of whom nothing is 

• Travels. ’ p 98. 


known. The lowns not already noticed arc Atloarln 
and Batzaura in the north, and Draslokfl and Nauli- 
bis in the south. The second of those may be 
Bazarak, a large town in the Panjshir valley, and the 
last may be Nilab of Ghorband. l*hc third was most 
probably a town in one of the darSs or valleys of the 


The district of Kabul is first mentione 1 by- 
Ptolemy. who calls the people Kabolil<c. and their 
capital Kcibura. which was also named Otiospana. 
The latter name alone is found in Strabo and Pliny, 
with a record of its distance from the capital of 
Ararhosia, as measured by Alexander's surveyors. 
Diognetes and Baiton. In sonic copies of Plinv the 
name is written Orlhospanum, which, with a slight 
alteration to Orlhoztana, ns suggested by H. H. 
Wilson.* is most probably the Sanskrit Urddhas- 
I liana, that is. the "high place." or lofty city. The 
same name is also given to the Kabul district by the 
Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang. But I strongly sus- 
pect that there has !»eer. some accidental interchange 
of names between the province and its capital. On 
leaving Ghazni, the pilgrim travelled to the north 
for 500 /*. or 83 miles, to Fo-li-shi-sa-lang-na, of 
which the capital was Hu-phi-na. Now by two 
different measured routes the distance between 
Ghazni and Kabul was found to be 81 and 88^5 

‘Ariana Antique.' p. 176. 



miles.* There con be- no doubt, therefore, that 
Kabul must be the place that was visited by the 
pilgrim. In another place the capital is said to lje 
7<X) /i. or 116 miles, from Bamian. which agrees 
very well with the measured distance of 104 milcsf 
between Barman and Kabul, along the shortest 

I he name of the capital, as given by the 
Chinese pilgrim, has been rendered by M. Vivien de 
St. Martin as Vardotthana, and identified with tin- 
district of the Wardalc Iribe, while the name of the 
province has been identified with Hupian or Opian . 
But the Wardak valley, which receives its name from 
the Wardak tribe, lies on the upper course of the 
l.ogarh river, at some distance to the south of Kabul, 
and only 40 miles to the north of Ghazni, while 
Hupian or Opian lies 27 miles to the north of Kabul, 
or more than 70 miles distant from Wardak. My 
own researches lead me to conclude that loth names 
refer to the immediate neighbourhood of Kabul itself. 

Professor I .asset t has already remarked that the 
name of Kipin. which is so frequently mentioned by 
other Chinese authors, is not once noticed by Hwcn 
Htsang. Rcmusat first suggested that Kipin was 
the country on the Kophes or Kabul river; and this 
suggestion has ever since been accepted by the un- 
animous consent of all writers on ancient India, by 
whom the district is now generally called Kophcnc. 

• Thornton** 'Gazetteer.' Appendix. 

•f Lieutenant Sturt, Engineers, by perambulator 


mu ancievi geography of India 

It is this form of the name of Kipin that I propose to 
identify with the Hu-phi-na of Hwcn Huang. as n 
seems to in*- scarcely possible that this oner famous 
province can have remained altogether unnoticed by 
him. when we know that he must have passed 
through it. and that the name was still in use* for 
more than a century after his time.* I have already 
stated my suspicion that there has Wen some inter 
change of names between the province and its 
capital. This suspicion is strengthened when it is 
found that all difficulties are removed, and the most 
complete identification obtained, by the simple 
interchange of the two names. Thus Hu-phi-na 
will represent Kophcnc. or Kipin. the country on the 
Kabul river, and Fo-li->hi-sa-lang-n<i, or UrJilha*- 
Ihana. will represent Orloslana. which, ns we know 
from several classical authorities, was the actual 
capital of this province. I may remark that lluphina 
is a very exact Chinese transcript of Kophen. 
whereas it would be a very imperfect transcript of 
Hupian, as one syllable would be altogether un- 
represented. and the simple p would be replaced by 
an aspirate. (Tie correct transcript of Hiipinu 
would I*- Hu-pi-yan-na. 

M. Vivien <le St. Marlin has objected! to the 
name of Uuldhaslhana that it is a "conjectural 
etymology without object.’ I am. however, quite 

• Lassen. "Points in the History of the Greek King* 
of Kabul.' p. 102. 

t ‘Hiouen Tisane," iii 416 



satisfied that this reading is the correct one. lor the 
following reasons: — 1st. The name of Ortospana 
is not confined to the Paropamisada? ; bill is found* 
also in Karmania and in Persis. It could not. 
therefore, have had any reference to the Wardak 
Irilx*. but must be a generic name descriptive of ils 
situation, n requirement that is most satisfactorily 
fulfilled by Urddhaslhana. which means literally the 
"high place.” and was uuxst probably employed to 
designate any hill fortress. 2nd. The variation in 
the rending of the name to I’ortospana confirms the 
descriptive meaning which I have given to it. a3 
porta signifies "high” in Pushtu, and was. no doubt, 
generally adopted by the common people instead of 
the Sanskrit urddha. 

Ilic position of Ortospana I would identify with 
Kabul itself, with its Haiti llisar, or "high fort.” 
which I take to be only a Persian translation of O rto 
spana. or Urdtlhasthdna. It was the old capital of 
the country before the Macedonian conquest, and so 
late as the tenth century it was still believed "that a 
king was not properly qualified to govern until he 
had been inaugurated at Kabul."" Hekatreus also 
describes a "royal town" amongst the OpiaiA but 
we have no data for determining cither its name or 
its position. It seems most probable, however, that 
Kabul must be intended, as we know of no other 

• Oineley. 'Oriental Geography.' p. 226. 

t-Sleph. Byz in v 'Onhu. 'Ey hi B triglot 

/‘•XI" ravrnr ’Bniu. <i™ tr>i>f«» l"V” ’ 



place iKat could have held this position alter the 
destruction ol Knpisa by Cyrus; but in this case 
Kabul must have been included within the territories 
ol the Opiai. 

It is strange that there is no mention of Kabul 
in the histories ol Alexander, ns he must certainly 
have passed through the town on his way from 
Arochosia to the site of Alexandria. I think, how- 
ever. that it is most probably the town of Nikaia, 
which was Alexander's first march from his new city 
on his return front Bartria. Nikola is described by 
Nonnus as a stone city, situated near a lake. It was 
also called Astakia, alter a nymph whom Bacchic 
had abused . 3 The lake is a remarkable feature, 
which is peculiar in Northern India to Kabul ami 
Kashmir llic city is also said to have been called 
Irulophon. or "Indian-killcr," on account ol the 
victory which Bacchus had gained over the Indians 
on this spot. Front this name I infer, that Nonnus 
had most probably heard of the popular meaning 
which is attributed to the name ol I lirulu-lftish, nr 
"Hindu-killcr." and that hr adopted it at once ns 
corroborative of the Indian conquests ol Dionysius. 

* 'Dionysiacs.' xvi . last three lines : — 

/Ci • ttaLW tiUftryyM rup/i 

TciV* aWui ji 9KUM lyuii, mo 
*Aoraxo)f MtUlWC, tfui ‘/r&o^ui'ni' /irir nVip*. 

The meaning of which appear* to he. that “Bacchus built 
n stone city, named JVifca/a, near a lake, which he also 
called A stadia, after the nymph, and Irulophon , in 
irmrmbrance of his victory 



Flic province is described as being 2000 li, or 
333 miles, in lengfli from east to west, and 1000 li, 
or 166 miles, in breadth from north to south. It i9 
probable that this statement may refer to the former 
extent of the province, when its king was the para- 
mount ruler of Western Afghanistan, including 
Ghazni and Kandahar, as the actual dimensions of 
the Kabul district are not more than one-half of iho 
numbers here stated. Its extreme length, from the 
sources of the Helmand river to the Jagdalak Pass, 
is about 1)0 miles, and its extreme breadth, from 
Istalif to the sources of the Logarh river, is not more 
than 70 miles. 

The name of Kophes is as old as the time of the 
Vedas, in which I he Kubhu river is mentioned ns an 
affluent of the Indus; and as it is not an Arran word. 

I infer that the name must have been applied to the 
Kabul river before the Arian occupation, or. at least, 
ns early as B.C. 2500. In the classical writers we 
find the Khoca, Kophes, and Khoaspcs rivers, to the 
west ol the Indus, and at the present day we have the 
Kunar, the Kuram, and the Comal rivers to the west, 
and the Kumhar river to the east of the Indus, all of 
which are derived from the Scythian tiu, "water." 
It is the guttural form of the Assyrian hu in Euphrates 
and Eulieus, and of ihe 1 urki su and the libetan 
chu, all of which mean water or river. I"he district 
of Kophcnc must, therefore, have received its name 
from the river which flowed through it. like as Sindh 
from the Sindhu or Indus. Margiana from the 



Margus, Aria from the Anus. Arachosia from the 
Aiachotus. and others. It is not mentioned by 
Alexander s historians, although the river Kophrs i; 
noticed by all of them. 

In Ptolemy's ‘Geography* the city of Kabura 
and ihc Kabolita ?, with the towns of Arguda, or 
Argandi, and Locharna. or Logarh, arc all located in 
the territories of the Paropamisada? along the Kabul 
river. Higher up the stream he places the town of 
liagarda. which corresponds exactly in position and 
very closely in name with the valley of Wartlalt. 
All the letters of the two names are the same; and 
.t* the mere transposition of the guttural to the end 
el the Creek name will make it absolutely identical 
with the modern name, there is strong evidence in 
favour of the reading of Bardagd instead of Bagarda. 
According to FJphinstooc,* the lVanlal{ tribe of 
Afghans occupy the greater part of the Logarh 
valley This is confirmed by Masson, T who twi< 
visited the district of War dak ; and by Vigne.J who 
crossed it On his way from Ghazni to Kabul. The 
only objection to this identification that occurs to me 
is, the possibility that liogarda may be the Greek 
form of Vaelprcla, which is the name given in the 
’Zend Avcsta* to the seventh country that was sue 
ccssivcly occupied by the Arian race, f rom its 
position between Bactria. Aria, and Arachosia, on 

• Kabul/ i. 160. 

t Travels/ ii. 223. 

t 'Ghazni/ p. 140 



one side. and India on the ofher, Vaekereta h;u. 
usually been identified wilh the province of Kabul, 
riiis. also, is the opinion of the Parsis themselves. 
Vnekcrcta is further said to lx* the seal or home of 
lhtzhal(, which further tends to confirm its idcntifica 
lion wilh Kabul, as the acknowledged country ol 
Zohak. If the W'anlalts had ever been a ruling 
tribe. I should be disposed to infer tlial the name of 
I ac^crcla might, probably, have been derived from 
them. But in our present total ignorance of their 
history. I think that it is sufficient to note the very 
great similarity of the two names. 

In the seventh century the king of Kophcnc 
was a lurk, and the language of the country was 
different from dial of the people of Ghazni. Hwcn 
I hiring mentions that the alphabet of Knpiscnr was 
thiil ol the I urks. but that the language was not 
lurki. As the king, however, was an Indian, it 
may reasonably he inferred that the language wns 
Indian, hor a similar reason it may be conjectured 
that the language of Kophene was some dialect of 
Turki, because the king of the district was a Turk. 


The Chinese pilgrim places the country of 
7 at 501) /i, or 83 miles, to the south of 

Huphina , or Kophcnc. and to the north-west of 
Falana . or Banu. The valley of the Lo-mo-in-tu 
river, which is mentioned as producing nssnfcetidn. is 
readily identified with the Hrlmand by prefixing the 
syllabic Ho to the Chinese transcript. The kingdom 



is said to have been 701X1 /i. or 1166 miles, in circuit, 
which calinot be far from the truth, as it most pro- 
bably included the whole of south-western Afgha- 
nistan with the exception of Kandahar, which at that 
time, from the story of the begging-pot of Buddha 
already noted, would appear to have belonged to 
Persia . 

This district possessed two capitals, called 
Ho-si-na and Ho-sa-lo. 1110 first has been identified 
by M. dc St. Martin with Ghazni, which is quite 
satisfactory : but his suggestion that the other may 
be connected with Hazara is, I think, very doubtful. 
Hazara is the name of n district, and not of a town : 
and its application to this part of the country is said 
by the people themselves not to be older than the 
time of Janghoz Khan.* I would, therefore, identify 
it with Guzar or Guzarislan, which is the chief town 
on the Hclmand at the present day: and with the 
Ozola of Ptolerny, which he places in the north 
west of Arachosia, or in the very same position as 

The name of Tsau/(u/a still remains to be 
explained. The identifications just made show that 
it corresponds exactly with the Arachosia of classical 
writers, which is the A ro/fha; and Rol{hai of the 
Arab geographers. Hie latter form is also found in 
Arrian's 'Periplua of the Erythraean Sea' as 
’PaxoiVii. It was, therefore, not unusual both before 

• 'Ayin Akbari.’ ii. 163. 



and after the lime of Hwen Thsang to drop the 
initial syllabic of the name. The original fopn was 
ihc Sanskrit Saiaswati. which in Zend became Hara- 
qdili, and in Greek 'Apa\u>Tos, all of which agree in 
the last two syllables with the Chinese T saulfula. 
Hie first Chinese syllable Tran must, therefore, 
correspond with the Ra of the other forms. This 
change may. perhaps, be explained by a peculiarity 
of the Turki language, which frequently changes the 
letter r into a soft z or » h, as the Turki words dengiz. 
"sea," and ofcuz, ■‘ox.” are the same as the Hunga- 
rian longer and o/^ur.* On the Indo-Scythinn coins, 
also, wc find the Turki names of Kanishba. 
Huoishha. and Kushana changed to Kancrkc. 
I lovcrlfc. and Korano in Greek. It seems possible, 
therefore, that the initial syllable T>au of the Chinese 
transcript may be only the peculiar Turki pronuncia- 
tion of the Indian Ra. which would naturally have 
come into use with the occupation of the country by 
the Turki tribe of Tochari. about the beginning of the 
Christian era. 

In the seventh century the king of Ghazni, who 
was a Buddhist, was descended from a long line of 
ancestors. Both the alphabet and the language of 
the people are said to have been different from those 
of other countries: and as Hwen Thsang was 
acquainted with both the Indian and Turki languages. 
I infer that the speech of the people of Ghazni was 
most probably Pushtu. If so. the people must have 

• Prichard, 'Physical History of Mankind,* iv. 403. 



been Afghans ; but. unfortunately, we have no other 
clue to guide us in settling this very interesting point, 
unless, indeed, the name of O-po-J-ien, a place to the 
southeast of Ghazni. may be identified with 
A) shun, a point which will he discussed hereafter. 

Of Guzarist&n, on the I Mtnand, I am not aide 
to give any further information, as that part of the 
country has not vet been visited by any European. 
Ghazni itself is too well known to require any parti- 
cular description, but I may note that it must have 
been in a very flourishing condition in the seventh 
i entury . as Hwen Phsang estimates its circuit at 
30 /t. or miles. At the present day the circuit of 
the walle d town is not more than one mile and a 
quarter. Vignc calls it an irregular pentagon, with 
sides varying from 200 to 400 yards in length, 
strengthened by numerous towers. He adds. 4 that 
the Afghans boast much of the strength of the 
walls and fortifications of Ghazni." But Ghazni 
has always been famous in the East as a place ol 
strength nnd security: mid for this very reason i: 
received its name of (iaza, an old Persian term for .» 
"treasury." It is described in some crabbed lines of 
the- ‘Dionysiaca* of Nonnus, who lived about A.D. 
>00. and also in tin* 'Bassarita' of Dionysius, who 
lived not later than A.D. 300 Both of them refer 
pointedly to its impregnability. Dionysius calls it, — 

diJs/t K, *t«! tfi ruy^i/Wcoi {n*, 

"A* atern in war a& if *twa$ made of bras*.*’ 

* 'Ghazni.* p. 12 2. 



and Nonnus $ays.* "They fortified. with a nef-likc 
enclosure of interlacing works, Gazos, an immove- 
able bulwark of Arcs, and never has any armed* 
enemy breached its compact foundations." These 
early notices of this famous place suggest the possi- 
bility that the Gazaha of Ptolemy may have been 
misplaced amongst the Paropamisada? to the north ol 
Kabul, instead ol to the south of it. Bui as 
Stephanos of Byzantium, who quotes the 'Bassarica' 
of Dionysius as his authority for ihis Indian town. 
w<!A*v ‘Mur n> takes no notice of the Indian Gazabo, 

I conclude that he must have looked upon it as a 
different pi <1CC. 


I hr district of Lan-po , or I-amghan, is noted by 
Hwen 1 hsang as bring 600 /r, or just 100 miles, to 
ihe east of Kapisene. Me describes the road as a 
succession of hills and valleys, some* ol the hills 
being of great height. This description agrees wit!* 
all the recent accounts of the route along the northern 
bank of the river from Opian to Lamghiin. The 
bearing and distance also coincide $o exactly with 

• Dionysiaca.’ xxvi. JO: — 

tCQi Oi Xirfxpxti « JtfAoi 

rAZOS <rupyio<T'V 7o 

*Afxas cjcX irt* «<»i ovflotc br^o* <n'^p 

XcJiKCA <\u>y Vu*^<uafo«n lUpi&Sru*. 



the position o( Lamghan that there can be no doubt 
of the identity of the two districts. Ptolemy, also, 
places a people called Lambat tc in the very same 
position. From n comparison of this term with the 
modern appellation of Lamghan. it seems probable 
ihnt the original form of the name was the Sanskrit 
Lampaba. I would, therefore, correct Ptolemy's 
Lambda; to Lambagixr. by the slight change of 
f for T • The modem name is only an abbrevia- 
tion of Lampcfa' formed by the elision of the labial. 
I: is also called Laghman by the simple transposition 
of the middle consonants, which is a common 
practice in the hast. Fhc credulous Muhammadans 
derive the name, from the patriarch Lantech, whose 
tomb they affirm still exists in Lamghan. It :s 
noticed by Baber and by Abul Fnzl. 

The district is described by Hwcn ITisang ns 
being only 1000 li, or 166 miles, in circuit, with 
snowy mountains on the north, and black lulls on 
the other three sides. Front this account it is i tear 
that Lan-po corresponds exactly with the present 
Lamghan. which is only a small tract of country, 
lying along the northern bank of the Kabul river, 
hounded on the west and cast by the Alingar and 
Kunar rivers, and on the north by the snowy 
mountains. This small tract is very nearly a square 
of 40 miles on each side, or 160 miles in circuit. 
It had formerly been a separate kingdom ; but in the 
seventh century the royal family was extinct, and the 
district was a dependency of Kapiscnc. 



f'rom Lnmghan the Chinese pilgrim pitnecdel 
for 100 li, or ncnrly 17 miles, to the south-east. and. 
after crossing a large river, rcftch'ed ihe district of 
Nagaiahaia. Both the lie.-iriiig and distance point to 
the Nagnni of Ptolemy, which was to the south ol the 
Kabul river, and in the immediate vicinity of Jalala- 
bad. Hwcn rhsang writes the name Na-l(i-lo ho : 
but M. Julien* has found the full transcript of the 
Sanskrit name in the annals of the Song dynasty, in 
which it is written Nang-go-lo-ha-lo. The Sanskrit 
name occurs in an inscription which was discovered 
by Major Kittoe in the ruined mound of Ghosrawa, 
in the district of Bihar. t Nngarah&ra is said to be 
600 li, or 1 00 miles, in length from cast to west, and 
upwards of 250 li, or -12 miles, in breadth from north 
to south. Ihe natural boundaries of the district are 
the Jagdalok Pass on the west, and the Khailvar Pass 
on the cast, with the Kabul river to the north, and the 
Sajed Koh, or snowy mountains, to the south. 
Within these limits the direct measurements on the 
map are about 75 by 50 miles, which in actual road 
distance would be about the same as the numbers 
stated by Hwcn Thsang. 

Hie |>o9ition of the capital would appear to have 
been at Begram. about 2 miles to the west of Jala- 
labad. and 5 or 6 miles to the W.N.W. of Hidda. 
which by the general consent of every inquirer has 

* ‘Hioucn Tlisnng.' ii. %. note . 
t Journ. Axial. Soc. Bengal. 1848, pp. 490. 491. 

5 2 


been identified w i l h the Ui-loai the Chinese pilgrims. 
The town ol Hilo was only 4 or ) li. or about three- 
quarters ol a mile, in circuit ; but it was celebrated 
lor its possession ol the skull bone ol Buddha, which 
was deposited in a s/rrpa, or solid round tower, and 
was only exhibited to pilgrims on payment ol a pin- 
of gold. Hiddn is a small village. > miles to tin 
south ol Jalalabad: but il is well known for its larg< 
collection of Buddhist stupas, tumuli, and caves, 
which were so successfully explored by Masson. 

I h< presence ol these important Buddhist remains, 
m the very position indicated by the Chinese pilgrims, 
affords (lie mast satisfactory proof of the identity ot 
Hiddn with iheir Hilo. Iliis is further confirmed by 
the absolute agreement of name, as Hi-lo is the 
closest approximation that could be made in Chinese 
syllables to me original Him or Hida. The capital 
most, therefore, have been situated on the plain ol 
Begram. which is described by Masson* as "literally 
covered with tumuli and mounds." ‘These." hi 
adds, "are truly sepulchral monuments; but. with 
lire tojx*s. saiu lion the inference that a very consider 
abb - 1 ity existed here, or that it was a place ol renown 
for sanctity. It may have been both." I think it is 
just possible that Hiddo may lx- only a transposition 
of iliulili, a bone. as the stupa of the skull-bone ol 
Buddha is said in one passagef io have been in the 
town of Hilo, while in anothc r passage it is located in 
the town ol /•o-ling-i;o-c/img. which is only a 

* "Travels.* ii. 164 

t "Hiouen Ihsang.’ i. 77. 



( hinesc translation of "Buddha's skull-bone town." 
During ihe course of this disquisition I shall, have to 
notirc the frequent occurrence of short descriptive 
names of places which were famous in the history 
of Buddha. I am. therefore, led to think that the 
place which contained the skull-bone of Buddha 
would most probably have been known by the 
familiar name of Aslhipura amongst the learned, 
and of lladdlpura . or "Bone-town” amongst the 
common people. Similarly the skull-necklace of 
Siva is called simply the aslhimala, or bonc- 

Sagurahcira was lorn- ago identified by Professor 
l-assen with the Soger a or Dionysopolis of Ptolemy, 
which was situated midway between Knbura and the 
Indus. The second name suggests the probability 
that it may be- the same place as the Nyna of Arrian 
iird Curtins. This mum is perhaps also preserved 
in the Dinus 01 Diiuu of Abu Rihan,* as he places it 
about midway Ik- tween Kabul and I’arashawar. Ac- 
cording to the tradition of the people, the old city 
was called .-Ij'una.t in which I think it possible to 
iccognizc the Creek us the river Yamuna or 
Jumna is rendered Diamuna by Ptolemy, and the 
Sanskrit yamos or jamas, the south, is rendered 
Dlamasa by Pliny. { It is, however, much more 
likely that Ajuna. by transposition of the vowels 

* Reinnud’s ‘Fragments,* p. 114. 

t Mnssou't ' liavcls,' ii. 164. 

I Hiat. Nut., vi. c. 22. 


may be only a corrupt form of the Pall Ujjana, and 
Sanskrit Udyana. "a Harden." as M. Vivien dr 
’St. Martin states that Udyanaputa was an old name 
of Nagarahara.* If thin identification be correct the 
position of the capital must certainly have been at 
BegrAm. as I have already Suggested. The name of 
Dinnysopolis was no doubt the most usual apnclla 
tion during the whole period of Greek dominion, as 
one of the commonest mint-monograms on the coins 
of the Greek kings of Ariana forms the letters J ION, 
which will not suit the name of any Indian city rr- 
corded by ancient authors, save that of Dionysopolis- 
in the beginning of the fifth century it is called 
simplv Na-I^ic or Nagara. by Fa Hian, who adds that 
it was then nn independent State governed by its 
own king. In A.D. f»30. at the time of Hwen 
Ihsang’s visit, it was withon' a king, and subject 
to Knpisenc. After this it most probably followed 
the fortunes of the sovereign State, and became 
successively a part o! the Brahman kingdom of 
Kabul and of the Mabommcdan empire of Ghazni. 


The district of Gandhara is not mentioned by 
Alexander’s professed historians; but it is correctly 
described by Strabo, under the name of Gandaiitis. 
as lying along the river Kophes. between the 
Choa8pcs and the Indus. In the same position 

* Hiouen Hwang.* iii 305 




Ptolemy places the Gandartr. whose country includ- 
ecl both bonks of the Kophes immediately above its 
junction with the Indus. This is the Kicn-lo-lo, of 
Gantlhara of all the Chinese pilgrims, who arc un 
ammons in placing it to the west of the Indus. The 
capital, which they call Pulu-sha-pitlo or Parasha- 
pitra is stated to be three or four days’ journey from 
the Indus, and near the south bank of a large rivo 
□■is is an exart description of the position of 
Peshawar, which down to the time of Akliar still 
bore its old name of ParashaiOar. under which form 
it is mentioned by Abul Fad and Baber, and still 
earlier by Abu Rihan and the Arab geographers in 
the tenth century. According to Fn Hian. who calls 
it simply Fo-lu-sha or Parasha, the capital was 
16 tiojant, or about 112 miles, distant from 
Nagarahara. Idwcn I hsang. however, makes the 
distance only 500 li, or 83 miles, which is certainly 
a mistake, as the measurement by |»erainbulator 
between lal&labud and Peshawar is 103 miles, to 
which must be added 2 miles more for the position of 
Begram to the west of Jalalabad. 

The actual boundaries of the district are not 
described, but its size is given as 1000 li, or 166 
miles, from east to west, and H00 li. or 133 miles, 
from north to south. This is, perhaps, nearly 
correct, as the extreme length, whether taken from 
the source of the Bara river to Forbela. or from the 
Kunnr river to Forbcln. is 120 miles, measured on 
the map direct, or about 150 miles by road. The 
extreme breadth, measured in the same way, from 



Bazar, on the bonier of the Bunir hills, lo ihe 
southern boundary of Kohal, is 100 miles direct, or 
about 125 miles by road. The boundaries of 
GandhAra. as deduced from these measurements, 
may be described as Lamghan and Jalalabad on the 
west, the hills of Swat and Bunir on the north, the 
Indus on the cast, and the hills of Kalabagh on the 
south. Within these limits stood several of the most 
renowned places of ancient India; some celebrated 
in the stirring history of Alexander’s exploits, and 
Others famous in the miraculous legends of Buddha, 
and in the subsequent history of Buddhism under 
the Indo- Scythian prince Kanishka. 

The only towns of the Gandarcr named by 
Ptolemy are Naulibc. Emboli ma, and the capital 
called Proklais. All of these were to the north of 
the Kophes; anil so also were Ora, Bazaria, and 
Aornos, which are mentioned by Alexander’.; 
historians. Parashawar alone was to the south of 
the Kophes. Of Naulibc and Ora I am not able to 
offer any account, ns they have not yet been identi- 
fied. It is probable, however, that Naulibc is Nilab. 
an ini|X)rtant town, which gave its name to the Indus 
river; but if so. it is wrongly placed by Ptolemy, ns 
Nilab is to the south of the Kophes. The positions 
of the other towns I will now proceed to investigate, 
including with them some minor places visited by 
the Chinese pilgrims. 

Pushbalacali, or Pcul(c/aolis. 

The ancient capital of GAndharu was Pushkala- 
vali, which is said to have been founded by 



Pushlcara, the son of Bliareta. and the nephew of 
Rama.* Ils antiquity is undoubted, as it was the 
capital ol the province at the lime of Alexander* 
expedition. The Greek name of Pcu^claoli s, or 
Peucolailis, was immediately derived from Pukka- 
lanli, which is the Pali, or spoken form of the 
Sanskrit Pushkalavali. Il is also called Pcukclas bv 
Arrian, and the people are named /’eu^tr/ei by 
Dionysius Periegctes, which are both close tran- 
scripts of the Pali Pufc^o/a. The form of Proklais. 
which is found in Arrian's 'Periplus of the Erythraean 
Sea,' and also in Ptolemy's ‘Geography.’ is perhaps 
only an attempt to give the Hindi name of Pokhar 
instead of the Sanskrit Pushkara. 

According to Arrian. Peukelas was a very large 
and populous city, seated not far from the river 
Indus.' t It was the capital of a chief named Asles.t 
perhaps I lasli, who was killed in the defence of one 
of his strongholds, after a siege of thirty days, by 
Hcphasation. Upon the death of Ast.-s the city of 
Peukelaotis was delivered up to Alexander on his 
march towards the Indus. Ils position is vaguely 
described by Strabo and Arrian as ‘‘near the Indus." 
But the geographer Ptolemy is more exact, as he 
fixc9 il on the eastern hank of the river of Suastene, 
that is. the Panjkora or Swat river, which is the very 
locality indicated by Hwcn Thsang. On leaving 
Parashawar the Chinese pilgrim travelled towards 

• Wilson's "Vishnu Parana.' edited by Hall, b. iv. c.4. 
t Arrian. ‘Indies.’ i t Arrian, ‘Anabasis.’ iv. 22. 



the north-cast for 1 00 /r. or nearly 17 miles; and. 
crossing a great river, reached Pusc-bia-lo-fa-l «. or 
Push kala vat i. The river here mentioned is the 
Kophes, or river of Kabul ; and the bearing and 
distance from Peshawar point to the two large towns 
of Parang and Charsadn, which form part of the 
well-known Hoshlnagor , or “Right Cities/* tha: 
are seated close together on the eastern bank of the 
lower Swat river. These towns are Tongi, Shirpao. 
Umrzai, Turangzai. Usmanzai. Rnjur. Charsadn. 
and Ptirang. Ihey extend over a distance of 
fifteen miles ; but the last two arc seated dose 
togethe r in a bend of the river, and might originally 
have been portions of one large town. The fort of 
Hisfir stands on a mound aliove the ruins of the old 
town of Hnshlrwgar. which General Courl places on 
an island, nearly opposite Rajur. ' “All the 
suburbs." he says, "are scattered over with va9t 
ruins. "f Hu- eight cities are shown in No. IV 

It semis to me not improbable that the modern 
name ol Haslitnagar may be only a slight alteration 
of the old name of / latlinagara, or ‘"city of Hasti, 
which might have been applied to the capital of 
Astes, the I’rince of Peukelaotis. It was a common 
practice of the Greeks to call the Indian rulers by 
tbe names of their cities, ns Taxiles. Assakanus, and 
others. It was also a prevailing custom amongst 

■ Joum Asiaf Soc. Rengal. IfiV), p 479 

t Ibid., I8J6. p. 494. 



Indian princes to designate any additions or altera- 
tions made to their capitals by their own nam£8. O: 
this last custom we have a notable instance in the* 
famous city of Delhi; which, besides its ancient 
appellations of Indrapratlha and Dllh, was also 
known by the names of its successive aggruridi/crs 
as Kot-Pithora, Kila-Alai, Tughlakabad, Firuzabad. 
and Shnhjahanabad. It is true that the people 
themselves refer the name of Hashtnagnr to th. 
“eight towns'" which arc now seated close together 
along the lower course of the Swat river ; but it 
seems to me very probable that in this case the wish 
was father to the thought, and that the original name 
of Hnstinngar, or whatever it may have been, was 
slightly twisted to Hashtnagar, to give it a plausible 
meaning amongst n IVrxianued Muhammadan popu 
I at ion. to whom the Sanskrit Hastinagara was 
unintelligible. To the same cause I would attribute 
the slight change made in the name of Kagatahara 
which the people now call Nangnihar." or the 
"Nine Streams." 

In later times Pushkalavuti was famous for a 
large stupa, or solid lower, which was erected on 
the spot where Buddha was said to have made an 
alms-offering of his eyes. In the period of Hwen 
Thsang’s visit, it was asserted that the "eyes gift 

'Baber’s ’Memoirs.’ p. 141. — Wood's ‘Journey to 
the Source of the Oxus,’ p. Ih7 — Maegrejcor’s Geo 
graph> of Jalalabad.’ in Journ. /Mint. Soc Bengal. Xi 
117. and xiii. 867. 



had been made one thousand different times, in as 
many previous existences : but only n single 

gift is mentioned by the two earlier pilgrims. Fa 
Hian in the fifth century, and Sung-Yun in the sixth 

I arusha. or Palodhcri. 

H"cn Thsang nest visited a town called /’o-/u- 
sha. which. I think, may be identified with Palo 
ithci i. or the village of Pali, which is situated on a 
ilhcri, or "mound of mins,' the remains of some 
early town. To the north-cast of the town, at 20 
h. or S'/i miles, rose the hill of Danlaloka, with .« 
cave, in which Prince Sudana and his wife had taken 
refuge. I he [>osition of Palodhcri. which is the 
Pet Icy ol ( irneral Court, agrees with Hwen Ilisang’s 
distance of nhout 40 miles from Pushk.ilavuli ;* and 
this identification is supported hy the existence of 
the great cave of Kashmiri-Ghar, in the hill to the 
east-north-east, and within 3 or 4 miles of Palodhcri 
Mount Danlaloh I take to be the Monies Divdali. 
of Justin. f as in the spoken dialects the nasal of the 
word </<in/u is assimilated with the following letter, 
which thus becomes doubled, as in the well-known 
ilallon. a ‘tooth-brush.' or twig used for cleaning 
the teeth. 

• See No. I\ Map. 
f ’Hilt oi ifi. xii 7. 



Utakhanda. or Ohind, or Embolima. 

From Polusha Hwcn THsang travelled 200 li. 
nr 33 miles, to the south-east to U-lo-kia-hancha. 
which M. Julien transcribes as Udakhanda, and 
M. Vivien tic St. Martin identifies with Ohind on 
the Indus. Tl»e pilgrim describes Udakhanda as 
having its south side resting on the river, which 
tallies exactly with the position of Ohind. on the 
north tank of the Indus, about I 5 miles above Attok. 
General Court and Burnes call this place Hurtd, 
anti so does Mr. Locwenthal, who styles Ohir.J . 
mistaken pronunciation. But the name was .vritte.? 

Waihand or Oaihand. by Abu Rihan in A.D. 
1030, and Ohind by Mirza Mognl Beg in 1790. To 
my ear the name sounded somethin)’ like WahanJ. 
an<l this would appear to have l»ecn the pronuncia- 
tion which Rashid-uil ilin obtained in A.D. 1310, as 
he names the place Wehanif'.* According to all 
these authors W'aihand was the capital of Gandhara. 
and Rashid-ud-din adds that the Moguls called it 
Karaiang. lire only native writer who uses the 
abbreviated form of the name is Nizam-ud-din, 
who in his Tabakat-i-Akbnri’ says that Mahmud 
besieged Jaipal in the fort of Hind in A.D. 1002. 
But this place is differently named by Fcrishta, who 
calls it the fort of Bithanda. In this last name 

wc have a very near approach to the old form of 
Ulakhanda , which is given by Hwen Thsang. 

4 There is a place cf the same name on the Jhelam 
which Moorcroft spells Oin. 


From all these examples, I infer that the original 
name of Ulal/hanJa, nr Ul-kharul. was first softened 
.tn Ulhando r Bilhanda. and then shortened to Uhand 
or Ohind. The other form of Wehand I look upon 
.is a simple misreading of Vthanil, as the two words 
only differ in the position of the diacritical points of 
the second letter. General James Abbott, in his 
Tirados ad Aornon,' calls the place Oond, and 
says that il was formerly called Ooia, from which 
he thinks it probable that it may be identified with 
the Ora, 'Qpa, of Alexander’s historians. 

I have entered into this long detail out of respect 
fur the knowledged learning of the late lamented 
Isiilot Locwenthal. His opinion as to the name of 
Ohind was most probably, although quite unconsci- 
ously. biassed by his belief that Utakhanda was to 
be found in the modern Attak. But this place is 
unfortunately on the wrong side of the Indus, 
besides which its name, ns far ns I am aware, is not 
to be found in any author prior to the reign of Akbar. 
Abu I Fad calls the fort Alak-BanSras. and stales 
that it was built in the reign of his Majesty. Baber 
never mentions the place, although he frequently 
speaks of Nilab. Rashid-ud-din. however, Mates 
ihnt the Parashiiwar river joins the Indus near 
Tanlcur, which most probably refers lo the strong 
position of Khairahad. I have a suspicion that the 
name of Altaic* the * 'forbidden,’’ may have been 
derived by Akl>ar from a mistaken reading of 
Tanbur. with the Arabic article prefixed, as £/- 
langur. The name of Banaras was undoubtedly 



derived from Banar, the old name of the district in 
which thp fort is si tun ted. 'Hip name of Banar 
suggested Ban A ms. and as Kasi-Baanras wa9 the 
city which -ill Hindus would wish to visit, so we 
may guess that this fact suggested to the playful 
mind of Akbar the exactly opposite idea of Altaic 
Banaras . or the "forbidden*’ Banaras. which all 
good Hindus should avoid. Or the existence of 
Kalab llanaras* (or Cuttack) in Orissa, on the 
extreme eastern limit of his kingdom, may have 
suggested an alteration of the existing names of 
Attak and Banar to Altak-Banaias as an antithesis 
for the extreme west. 

Wchand, or Uhand as I believe i’ should be 
written, was the capital of the Brahman kings of 
Kabul, whose dynasty was extinguisher! by Mahmud 
of Ghazni in A.D. 1026. Masudi. who visited India 
in a.P. 915. stales that "the king of El-kandahar (or 
Gandhara). who is one of the. kings of Es-Sind 
ruling over this country, is called Jahaj; this name 
is common to all sovereigns ol that country. "t 
Now . Chach is the name of the great plain to the 
east of ihe Indus, immediately opposite to Ohind . 
and .is the plain of Barnir is said to have been named 
after Raja Banar. it seems probable that the plain of 
Chach may have been named after the Brahman 

* ‘Ayin Alihan.’ ii. I'M. and Stirling’s 'Orissa.' in 
Bengal A*int Researches, xv. 18®. 

t Sir Henry Elliot's ‘Muhammadan Historian* of 
India.’ i. 37. In the new edition by Professor Dowson. 
i. 22. the name is altered to Haha j. 



dynasty of Ohind. Il is curious that the Brahman 
dynasty o( Sindh was also established by .1 ( had) 
A.D. 641 : but it is still more remarkable that this 
date corrt*|X>nds with the period of the expulsion 
ol the Brahman dynasty from Chichito . or Jajhoti 
by the Channels of Khnjura, I think, therefore, 
that there* may have been some connection between 
these events, and that the expelled Jajhotiyu 
Brahmans of Khajura may have found their way to 
the Indus, where they succeeded in establishing 
themselves at first in Sindh and afterwards in Ohind 
and Kabul. 

In the time of Hwen Thsang the city was 
//. or upwards of i miles, in circuit, and we may 
reasonably suppose that it must have increased in 
size during the sway of the Brahman dynasty. It 
would seem also to have been still a place of 
importance under the successors of Changiz Khan, 
as the Mogals had changed its name to Karnjang 
Bvit the building of Attak. and the permanent diver 
sion of the high-road, must seriously have affected 
its prosperity, and its gradual decay since then has 
been hastened by the constant encroachments of the 
Indus, which has now carried away at least one-half 
of the old town.* In the sands at the foot of the 
cliff, which are mixed with the debris ol the ruined 
houses, the gold-washers find numerous coins and 
trinkets, which offer the best evidence of the former 
prosperity of the city. In a few hours* washing I 

* See No. IV. Map for it* position. 



obtained a bronze buckle, apparently belonging to a 
bridle, a female neck ornament, several lint needles 
for applying antimony to tbe eyes, and a consider- 
able number of coins of tbe Indo'Scythian and 
Brahman princes of Kabul. The continual dis- 
covery of Indo'Scylhian coins is a sufficient proof 
that the city was already in existence at the beginning 
of the Christian era, which may perhaps induce us 
to put some faith in the tradition, mentioned by Abul 
Feda. that W chart J, or Ohind, was one of the cities 
founded by Alexander the Great. 

After the surrender of Peukelaotis, Arrian* 
relates that Alexander captured other small towns 
on the river Kophcne*. and "arrived at last at 
Embolima, a city seated not far from the rock 
Aornos." where he left Kraterusto collect provisions, 
in case the siege should be protracted. Before he 
left Bazaria. Alexander, with his usual foresight, 
had despatched HcphirStion and Perdikkas straight 
to the Indus with orders to "prepare everything for 
throwing a bridge over the river." Unfortunately, 
not one of the historians has mentioned the name 
of the place where the bridge was made ; but as the 
great depot of provisions and other necessaries was 
formed at Embolima, 1 conclude that the bridge 
must have been at the same place. General Abbott 
has fixed Embolima at Amb-lialima on the Indus. 
8 miles to the east of Mahaban; and certainly if 
Mahabnn was Aornos the identity of the other places 

• ’Anabasi*.' iv. 28. 




would be incontestable. But as the identification of 
Mahaban seems lo me to be altogether untenable. 
I would suggest that Ohind or Ambai-Ohmd is the 
most probable site of FLmlwilima. Ambar is a 
village two miles to the north of Ohind, and it is in 
accordance with Indian custom to join the names of 
two neighbouring places together, a* in the case of 
Altak-Banaras. for the sake of distinction, as there is 
another Ohin on the Jhelam. It must be remem- 
bered. however, that Embolima or Ekbolima may be 
only a pure Greek name, descriptive of the position 
of the place, at the junction of the Kabul river with 
the Indus, where it is placed by Ptolemy. In this 
case the claim of Ohind would be even stronger 
than before. That the bridge over the Indus was 
at, or near. Pjnbolima. seems almost certain from 
the statement of Curtins, that when Alexander had 
finished his campaign to the west of the Indus by 
the capture of Aorrvos, "he proceeded towards 
Ecbolima that is, as I conclude, to the place 
where his bridge had been prepared by Hephiestion 
and Perdikkas, and where his provisions had been 
stored by Kraterus. I infer that the depot of 
provisions must have been close to the bridge, 
because one guard would have sufficed for the 
security of both bridge and stores. 

Saldhira, or Labor. 

Hwen Tfisang next visited So-lo-iu-lo. or Sala- 
tura. the birthplace of the celebrated grammarian 

* Vit. Alex., viii. 12. — "indc pioccssit Ecbolima." 



Panini, which he says was 20 li, or 3 J /3 miles, to 
ihc north-west of Ohind. In January, 1 848, ^ during 
a day’s halt at the village of Lahor, whicli is exactly 
four miles to the north-cast of Ohind, I procured 
several Creek and Indo-Scythian coins, from which 
it may be inferred, with some certainty, that the 
place is at least as old as the time of Panini himself, 
or about B.C. 350. I have, therefore, no hesitation 
in identifying Salatura with Lahor. The loss of the 
first syllable of the name is satisfactorily accounted 
for by the change of the palatal sibilant to the 
aspirate, according to the well-known usage of the 
people of western India, by whom the Sindhu river 
was called Hendhu and Indus, and the people on 
its banks Hindus or Indians; Salatura would, there- 
fore. have become llalatura and / 1 /dfur. which 
might easily have been corrupted to Lahor; or. as 
General Court writes the name, to Laoor. 

A or nos. 

In describing the countries to the west of the 
Indus I must say a few words on the much vexed 
question of the position of Aomos. In 1836 General 
Court wrote as follows : — "As relates to Aomos. it is 
probably the castle which was opposite Attak, and 
the vestiges of which we see upon the summit of the 
mountain. Its foundation is attributed to Raja 
Hodi”* In 1848 I suggested that the "vast hill 
fortress of Rani-gat, situated immediately above the 

• Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal. 1836, p. 395.